Four Irish in the field on the eve of Alps Tour season opener

Mark McGowan

Ronan Mullarney (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images)

The 2023 Alps Tour season begins this week with back-to-back events in Egypt and four Irishmen are in the field as the hunt begins for 2024 Challenge Tour cards.

Sokhna Golf Club – a 27-hole complex along the banks of the Suez Canal comprising the A, B and C nines – is the venue for both events, with the Elin Bay Open played from February 21st until February 23rd on courses B&C, a 7,296-yard par 72, and the Little Venice Open will get underway from February 26th until February 28th on courses A&B which play to a mammoth 7,620 yards.

Ronan Mullarney, affectionately dubbed ‘The Bull King’ by Irish Golfer following his early season exploits on the Toro Tour, will be hoping to see his rich vein of form continue, and he’s joined in the field by Paul McBride, Paul Murphy, and 2019 Amateur Championship winner James Sugrue.


McBride is no stranger to Egyptian golf, having posted a top-five finish on the MENA Tour’s Egyptian Swing at nearby Madinaty Golf Club last month, and Murphy – who had a stellar Collegiate career at Alabama’s University of Montevallo Falcons – is set to embark on his second full season as a pro.

Sugrue has found the transition from amateur to professional a little rockier than he’d have liked, but he posted a couple of top-10 finishes on the Alps Tour last season and will be hoping to build on that in his second assault.

Murphy will get the tournament underway in the opening group off the first tee, playing alongside Frenchman Benjamin Grimal and local amateur Maged Abdel Tawab, and McBride follows two groups later with Holland’s Rodi Vlasveld and Venezuelan Ignacio Arcaya for company.

Sugrue will go off the 10th tee with Italian amateur Flavio Michetti and France’s Hermes Ferchaud, while Mullarney is in the later wave accompanied by Davide Buchi from Italy and French amateur Paul Franquet.

For each event in the 2023 Egypt Winter Series, there will be 120 players competing for a prize fund of €40,000 and 45,000 Order of Merit points. The winner of each tournament will earn €5,800 and 6,525 Order of Merit points.

Both events will be played as 54 holes stroke play tournaments with the top 40 players and ties making the 36-hole cut.

Further information and live scoring can be found here.

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