Swiss PGA Players Corner

European Tour: Joel Girrbach in Spain in the Cut

In early October at the Open de España at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid Joel Girrbach made the cut after a cautious opening round (73) with a splendid second day - 67 strokes (8 birdies, 4 bogeys). On Moving Day, he moved into a good position with a 68. A shaky final round Girrbach of 75 dropped him back from the 29th to the 55th place.

Last week, the 26-year-old was again in action at the highest European level. At the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura Joel Girrbach scored a solid opening round with 70 strokes, but with a 79 on the second day he fell back to rank 114 and missed the cut (-1) clearly.

Challenge Tour: De Sousa in France in 24th place

At the end of September, three Swiss PGA Pros in the field of the Challenge Tour at the Golf International de Pont Royal Open de Provence - two made it into the final rounds and thus in the prize money. The best performer was Geneva's Raphael de Sousa, who finished 24th with rounds of 70, 74, 67 and 70 (seven under par). Marco Iten caught a black Saturday (80 strokes, including four double bogeys) and fell back to rank 73. Joel Girrbach missed the cut by two strokes.

At the beginning of October, a Swiss quartet traveled to North Africa. Raphael de Sousa (74/72) as well as Marco Iten (73/74), Mathias Eggenberger (74/78) and Perry Cohen (81/73) missed the cut at the Aïcha Challenge Tour at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam near Rabat (Morocco).

A week later at the Irish Challenge at the Headfort Golf Club in Kells, both Swiss players missed the cut - both Benjamin Rusch and Marco Iten needed 147 strokes (+3) for the first two rounds, which were two too many.

Raphael de Sousa also had a premature end to the Hainan Open in mid-October. On the Chinese island, he played two rounds of 75 and missed the cut (+1) with a total score of +6.

A week later at the Foshan Open in the Nanhai District (China), Raphael de Sousa made the cut with rounds of 70 and 67, placing himself in a good position on the leaderboard. Ultimately, he fell back to 34th place with his only over par round (74) for the tournament.

Staysure Tour: Bossy and Wesselingh with top 20 rankings

Good performance of the Swiss PGA Pros at the Austrian Staysure Tour premiere in late September in Styria. At the Murhof Legends / Austrian Open, which was held for the first time, Paul Wesselingh finished 16th, with rounds of 68, 73 and 67 strokes. André Bossert played consistently - 71, 70, 70 strokes - and placed 22nd. The tournament was won by the outstanding Argentinian José Coceres, who recorded a 10-under-par round on Saturday and with a total of 19 under for the tournament (and four strokes lead) - his second win on the Staysure Tour - Coceres celebrated the premier win in July at the Swiss Seniors Open in Bad Ragaz.

A week later at the Farmfood European Senior Masters in the Forest Arden CC in Coventry (England), André Bossert kept the better "Swiss end" for himself. "Bossy" played consistently and ranked 20th with rounds of 72, 71 and 73 shots (+1 for the tournament) while Paul Wesselingh caught a black Sunday and dropped back to 44th. His score: 75/73/80.

Q-School: Mathias Eggenberger qualified for Second Stage

On the first of October, the second session of the First Stage of the Qualifying School for the European Tour 2020 started. Including nine Swiss, who want to qualify for the European Tour 2020 on this stony path.
In Bogogno, five Swiss - two Swiss PGA Pros, three amateurs - were at the start. Philippe Weppernig (76/67/75), Luca Galliano (72/71/73) and the two amateurs Cédric Gugler (75/83/68) and Sasha Wortelboer (74/75/78) failed at the cut. Only Loris Schüpbach made it to the final round with a score of 68, 70 and 70 strokes. However on his final round, the amateur of the GC Bad Ragaz had to record two double bogeys and bogeys, together with the three birdies that resulted in a 76 on the scorecard - and at the end of the disappointing 31st place for Schüpbach. End of season also for him.

Good news came only from France. At the golf course in Hardelot four Swiss PGA professionals tried their luck. However, Alain Jeanrenaud, Yann Pfeiffer and Arthur Ameil-Planchin already failed on the cut. The only Swiss in the final round was Mathias Eggenberger. With a 66 finish, "Eggi" advanced to 17th place, which results in the promotion to the Second Stage. This will be played from November 7-10 in Spain. In four tournaments the participants will compete for a participation at the final stage.

Alps Tour: Ameil-Planchin and Eggenberger at the final in the prize money

The Alps Tour was in Rome last week for the Grand Final. They played in two places: two laps on the Golf Nazionale course, then two on the Terre dei Consoli GC. 41 players, including two Swiss, had qualified for this season's final. For Mathias Eggenberger (70/78/71/80) it was a "warm-up" for the Second Stage of the Q-School. Arthur Ameil-Planchin (74/69/70/72) ended his 2019 season with this tournament - and 18th place.

Pro Golf Tour: Benjamin Rusch misses direct promotion

Season final at the beginning of October in Northern Germany: The last tournament of the season at the Castanea Resort was about the direct promotion, i.e. a full card for the Challenge Tour 2020. The top 5 of the Order of Merit of the Pro Golf Tour will receive the full playing right - currently it is even six of them, because finisher Sami Välimäki, who is ranked in the top five, directly climbs into the second-level tour as a three-time winner of the season. At the Castanea Resort Championship, Benjamin Rusch's aim was to defend his sixth place in the annual ranking - but his game did not go as wished. With rounds of 73, 68 and 76 strokes, he had to settle for the disappointing 44th place. After a long season, Rusch misses the direct promotion by less than 1000 euros prize money. Best Swiss in the final tournament was Jeremy Freiburghaus in 30th place. With only twelve tournaments, the young Grisons is classified in the annual ranking on the 37th rank. Also in the season final, there were Yann Pfeiffer (47th) and Zeno Felder (61st).

After the tour finals comes the Qualifying School for the Pro Golf Tour 2020 taking place in the GC Paderborn Land. Four Swiss were in North Rhine-Westphalia for Prequalification and three made it to the final rounds. Zeno Felder (79/78 - 78th place), Alain Jeanrenaud (79/81 - 86th place) and Philippe Weppernig (80/82 - 92nd place) missed the top 20 and failed securing an unrestricted playing right for the next season.

LET in India: Matzler not in the cut

Melanie Mätzler traveled to Delhi for the Women's Indian Open in early October, but clearly missed the cut with rounds of 78 and 77. The victory went to the Austrian Christine Wolf (73/68/67/69).

LETAS: Caroline Rominger on rank 7 at season final

At the Rügenwalder Ladies Open in Bad Zwischenahn (Northern Germany), the ranking in Swiss women's golf was turned upside down. Anaïs Maggetti, who is currently completing her three-year apprenticeship as a Swiss PGA Teaching Pro, showed her masters: the Ticinese ranks 17th with rounds of 71, 70 and 71 strokes. Caroline Rominger, who has subscribed to the title this season "Best-ranked Swiss" needed three shots more for the tree rounds than Maggetti and finished in 27th place. Also in the cut were Melanie Mätzler (38th/+3) and Clara Pietri (45th/6).

The La Largue Ladies Championship with a prize money pocket of EUR 80,000 had to be decided in a playoff: after 3 laps, the Finn Niina Liias and the Argentinian Magdalena Simmermacher were in the lead with -6. In the play-off, the Finn prevailed with a birdie on the first extra hole. Best-ranked Swiss was once again Caroline Rominger in 7th place (-1 for the tournament). The amateur Elena Moosmann needed one more stroke than Rominger and finished on the good 9th place while Clara Pietri (+6) finished 31st and Anaïs Maggetti (+8) 39th.

After the season final, it's time to draw some conclusions. Looking back on her 11th season as a Playing Proette, Caroline Rominger is in a positive mood but still has a bitter aftertaste: "It was my best season so far as Proette. My average score was 72.08 strokes - as low as ever." Six top-10 rankings on the LET Access Series, including a second place finish (missed by one hit), are a great return and 8th rank in the annual Order of Merit. Here comes the bitter note: The top 5 of the annual rankings get the eligibility for the Ladies European Tour 2020. In addition, 15 players qualify for the final stage of the LET Tour School. Caroline Rominger improved in the final tournament on rank 8 of the Order of Merit. Because two players are already qualified for the LET-Tour, she effectively misses only one place to climb to the LET.

Symetra Tour: Kim Métraux misses cut at Tour Championship

In the Symetra Tour Championship earlier this month in Daytona Beach (Florida), Kim Métraux played two solid rounds of 73 strokes and was +2 at half-time. But that was not enough for the final round of the season finale - the cut was -3.

LPGA Q-School: Albane Valenzuela in Final Stage

In mid-October, the Second Stage LPGA Q-School was played in Venice (Florida). In the field also two Swiss ladies: the Proette Kim Métraux, playing this season on the Symetra Tour, and the Geneva amateur Albane Valenzuela who is studying in Stanford. Métraux got off to a bad start in the tournament, had to sign a 77 card on day 2 and ended up with a total of 291 strokes (72/77/68/74) on rank 92. For promotion to the final stage rank 30 was necessary. A hurdle, which Valenzuela took brilliantly. Four rounds in the red (69/71/69/70) and a total score of 279 strokes put the Geneva woman on the 8th rank- and thus into the final at Pinehurst. After all, Métraux secured the Symetra Tour 2020 card by attending Second Stage and was nevertheless satisfied after two days of dropping out of the Q-School: "I'm happy to have my ticket for the Symetra Tour for 2020. This season was not easy because I could not plan well and did not know how many tournaments I could play. 2020 should be easier."

Albane Valenzuela completed the first four rounds of LPGA-Q-School's final stage at the end of last week playing Pinehurst No.6. After rounds of 71, 73, 69 and 70 strokes (-1 for the tournament), she is 20th on the leaderboard. Q-School will continue on Pinehurst No. 9, where another four rounds will be played witha cut after 2 rounds. The top 45 players will receive ultimately receive the tour card (CAT 14) for the LPGA 2020.


Joel Girrbach

De Sousa03

Raphael de Sousa

Caroline Rominger

Caroline Rominger


Albane Valenzuela (Am)

Bmw17 Eggenberger

Mathias Eggenberger


André Bossert