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Belgian Alan de Bondt wins season opener in Egypt

Dreamland Pyramids Classic 2022

A perfect start to the Pro Golf Tour season for Alan de Bondt: The Belgian wins the Dreamland Pyramids Classic at the Dreamland Golf Resort after rounds of 69, 68 and 71 strokes (-8, 208) just ahead of Mats Markovits (-7, 209) from the Netherlands. It is his first title as a professional – and his first on the Pro Golf Tour.

by Daniel Dillenburg

Cairo/Egypt – Suddenly he became nervous. "After 15 holes I looked at the leaderboard for the first time," Alan de Bondt recalled shortly after the victory, "then I was suddenly beside myself." The 25-year-old had started the final day as the leader, but with just a few holes to go, de Bondt found himself in a thrilling duel with Dutchman Mats Markovits, who was in the group ahead of him. Constant changes at the top of the leaderboard determined the final round. On 16 de Bondt suddenly had a two-shot lead – and his knees were shaking. But de Bondt saved a one-stroke lead into the clubhouse. The bogey on 18 remained without consequences – and the man from Antwerp could celebrate his first title as a professional.

"The key was that I stayed really calm for a long time, didn't look at the scores and just stuck to my plan." A conservative plan, as he noted himself after his 71 (-1) in the final. "I didn't play much with the driver. When I competed here last year, the course showed me my limits. That's why I relied on my strengths this time." The goal was to keep the ball in play. "I hit a lot of greens in the right place and didn't leave myself any difficult putts."

"Wasn't sure if I was ready"

The Belgian talent gained his first experience last year as a rookie on the Pro Golf Tour. After initial problems, he really got going towards the end of the season. "In the season finale in Castanea, I played for the title and then suddenly the season was over. The subsequent break was long, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for the new season."

The victory, for which De Bondt collected 5,000 euros in prize money, has dispelled those doubts. He said the triumph did not change his plans for the remaining tournaments on the Pro Golf Tour this season. "I want to continue to stick to my game plan and if it's enough to win the title, then it's good. If not, that's fine too." This week, at least, the plan worked. And De Bondt should be able to control his nerves a little better next time.

Markovits finished second with a total of 209 strokes. South African James Kamte played the best round of the day on the final day and improved to third place (-6, 210) thanks to a 65 (-7). Fourth place at -5 (211) was shared by Bryan Baumgarten (USA), Victor Veyret (FRA) and the Germans Alexander Herrmann and Marc Hammer.

Leaderboard: All results at a glance

Hole-in-one in Round 1

Daniel Tack provided an early highlight of the season on the first day when he scored a hole-in-one on the fourth hole. "I didn't even realise it," said Tack, who had a 7 iron in his hand and started cheering when he was already on the green. "The sun was so high that we could hardly see anything. The teammate ran onto the green and realised that my ball was in the hole!"