Allen John takes the trophy and the pole position
Open Michlifen 2019
The Morocco series of the Pro Golf Tour 2019 came to an end with a German triple victory at the final Open Michlifen. Allen John celebrated his first success of the season on the par 72 course at Le Michlifen Golf & Country Club in the Ifrane mountains. The golfer from Ludwigshafen was 11 under par after 54 holes, three strokes ahead of Moritz Lampert, third place went to Hurly Long. The trio now also occupies places 1, 2 and 3 in the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit in exactly this order.
Ifrane/Morocco – “I am delighted to have won on this golf course,” says Allen John about his tournament success, which he completed perfectly with rounds of 68, 67 and 70. “It is a wonderful course, a really outstanding golf course, varied and challenging. It's a course I'll always remember!” And for good reason: Allen John showed his great skills all week long at Michlifen Resort & Golf, dropped putts from a distance on the wide, undulating greens time and time again and played first-class irons in series. After 36 holes, he shared rank 1 with Hurly Long, both 9 under par; three shots behind, Moritz Lampert shared rank 3 with Luca Galliano from Switzerland and Kevin Duncan from Scotland.
The German trio went to the tee on the final day as the last group and finally decided the title among themselves. John worked his way through the picturesque course with no major weaknesses in his game and when he finally made a birdie at hole 16 straight out of the bunker, he knew it was his day today: “I’d had a good feeling all week, but then I was sure I'd win!”
The victory and associated 6,666.67 euro prize money and ranking points catapulted John from 9th position to rank 1 in the Pro Golf Tour Order of Merit – ten of this year's 21 tournaments have been played. And like at the Open Michlifen, Moritz Lampert and Hurly Long are now in 2nd and 3rd place in the overall ranking for the 2019 season.
Wildcard for Hurly Long
At the end of the eight Moroccan tournaments, Hurly Long had a special reason to be happy: although Allen John also won the Race to Rabat, the overall ranking of the 2019 Moroccan events, with his triumph in Ifrane, he cannot accept the associated wild card for the Hassan II Trophy due to a clash of dates. This means that Hurly Long, number 2 in the special ranking, will be able to enjoy the invitation to the European Tour tournament, which will take place at the end of April in Rabat, on the Red Course at Golf Dar Es Salam. About 2.5 million euros are at stake here.
The Open Michlifen was the outstanding finale to the Pro Golf Tour’s 2019 Morocco Series. The professionals were guests on the spectacular course in the mountains for the first time and how high it is situated was impressively clear from the very beginning: two days before the start of the tournament, winter had once again covered the Le Michlifen Golf & Country Club course, which is the heart of the Michlifen Resort & Golf, with a white blanket; no less a person than Jack Nicklaus was responsible for the par-72 Championship course’s design. But the spectacular golf course once again presented itself in rich dark green and guaranteed the best tournament conditions just in time for the ProAm and the professionals’ practice round.
Michlifen excites the players
“It's really beautiful that the final and climax to this series is taking place on this course,” many players agreed and enthusiastically posted photos and videos on their social media channels. A total of 250,000 euros in prize money was distributed this year at the eight tournaments jointly organised by the Pro Golf Tour and the Association du Trophée Hassan II de Golf (ATH) in Morocco. The two golf organisations celebrated their successful ten-year collaboration and their more than 60 joint tournaments to date with the Open Michlifen endowed with 40,000 euros.
Ten of the Pro Golf Tour 2019 tournaments have been played as a result and another eleven are now on the tournament schedule in the coming weeks and months in Europe. The opening event of the second half of the season will be the Haugschlag NÖ Open in Lower Austria, where a total of 156 players will compete from 24 to 26 April.