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Yente van Doren prevails in 5-man play-off

Red Sea Ain Sokhna Classic 2022

Spectacular finale of the fifth and last tournament of the 2022 Pro Golf Tour season in Egypt: At the Sokhna Golf Club, five players are tied at eleven under par after 54 holes. Then a play-off decides the victory at the Red Sea Egyptian Classic ­– and a sensational approach by the winner Yente van Doren from Belgium.


by Frieder Pfeiffer

Ain Sokhna, Egypt – Spectacular finale of the fifth and last tournament of the 2022 Pro Golf Tour season in Egypt: At the Sokhna Golf Club, five players are tied at eleven under par after 54 holes. Then a play-off decides the victory at the Red Sea Egyptian Classic ­– and a sensational approach by the winner Yente van Doren from Belgium.

Of course, nerves played a big role. When Yente van Doren came to the final holes, everything was suddenly more stressful. "That's normal when you're in the last group," he revealed later. Nevertheless, it certainly made this final day of the Red Sea Egyptian Classic more difficult. Together with the German amateur Philipp Katich, who had been in the lead after two rounds, the Belgian had gone for the third and last round. Now three players were waiting in the clubhouse at eleven under par. Van Doren and Katich were also at this score. A birdie would have changed everything, probably brought the victory. But it did not happen in the gruelling final round.

So, on this last day of the final fifth tournament of the Pro Golf Tour 2022 in Egypt, five players stood on the first tee and went into overtime. There, van Doren placed his approach from around 85 metres 30 centimetres off the hole - a dream shot, synonymous with victory. It is van Doren's first title on the Pro Golf Tour and the reward for a strong start to the season with two top ten results.

"This year things are going better because I'm just strictly sticking to the program I defined with my coach before the season," said van Doren, who was already swinging a golf club at the age of four. "The routine is simply very important for me." So, the 25-year-old, who studied in St. Louis, Missouri, will not change his goal for this year either. "I want to continue to finish in the top five and move up, no more, no less."

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Second place is shared by Christian Bräunig, Michael Hirmer, Philipp Katich (all Germany) and Austrian Felix Schulz. The Pro Golf Tour now moves on to Europe, where the Haugschlag NÖ Open by perfect eagle is already scheduled for 27 April. The Belgian Alan de Bondt, winner of the Dreamland Pyramids Classic at the start of the season, leads the Order of Merit ahead of the Frenchman Victor Veyret and van Doren.

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Frenchman Carl Bertrand provided a highlight of the Weeks of Egypt. The 22-year-old had already managed a hole-in-one at the Allegria Open a good three weeks ago - now he followed this up at the Sokhna Golf Club. With a 6-iron, he holed an ace on the 9th hole in round one. It was already his eighth in his young golfing career, his fifth in a competition. "Actually, the long game is my strength. But surely it's a combination of luck and skill that it works out for me so often," Bertrand said after the tournament, which he finished in twelfth place. His goals for his first year as a professional on the Pro Golf Tour? "A win - but another hole-in-one would be nice too."