Ahead of the 2020 European Challenge Tour season getting under way, we take a closer look at the five new members who earned their card through the Alps Tour.
With a stroke average of 68.87, it is little surprise that Edoardo Lipparelli strolled to Alps Tour Order of Merit victory, finishing over 7,000 points clear of his nearest rival, Enrico Di Nitto.
The Italian is one of several exciting young prospects heading for the Challenge Tour this season and will come into the opening events full of confidence after a standout rookie season on the Alps Tour, where he amassed eight top ten tournament finishes, including victory at the Open de Saint Francois Region Guadeloupe.
Lipparelli first tasted professional action as a 15-year-old, making consecutive cuts in the 2013 and 2014 Italian Open, and is set to utilise that experience as he takes his fledgling steps on the Challenge Tour this season.
Enrico di Nitto
Italian di Nitto secured his second Alps Tour graduation in 2019, accumulating nine top ten finishes in just 15 starts on his way to finishing second on the Order of Merit.
With only three events remaining of the Alps Tour season, the 27-year-old produced a victory at the ideal time, winning on home soil at the Nazionale Open to secure his playing privileges for 2020.
Di Nitto is no stranger to Challenge Tour action, teeing it up 48 times thus far, with his best result a tie for 16th at the Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour.
The Frenchman took only 13 events to wrap up his card for 2020, claiming three Alps Tour victories to earn immediate promotion to the Challenge Tour. He followed up an early triumph at the opening event of the season, the WS - Ein Bay Open, with two further wins at the Alps de Las Castillas and Saint-Malo Mixed Open, as he made the jump to the Challenge Tour via the three-win rule.
Lacroix showed glimpses of his Alps Tour form in the second half of the 2019 season, with his best performance a tie for 15th at the KPMG trophy in Belgium. As he embarks on his first full Challenge Tour season, the 24-year-old will be one to watch as he looks to follow in the footsteps of his compatriots, and former Alps Tour graduates, Antoine Rozner and Victor Perez and earn his European Tour card by finishing in the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
Maccario left it late to secure his Challenge Tour playing privileges, winning the season-ending Alps Tour Grand Final on home soil to climb into the coveted five promotion spots.
The final of a trio of Italians to secure their Challenge Tour membership for 2020 via the Alps Tour, the 25-year-old will return to play a full Challenge Tour season since losing full playing rights after the 2018 season.
He bounced straight back from a disappointing 2018 campaign with top five finishes in his opening two Alps Tour events in 2019 and showed great consistency with three further top five placings before the season was over.
Austrian Timon Baltl secured a maiden season on the Challenge Tour after a blistering middle part of the year, where he placed on every podium position within a four-week stretch.
That scintillating run climaxed on home soil at the Gösser Open, where he carded a new course record of 62 in the final round to seal a three-shot victory. It was a breakthrough win for the 24-year-old who was playing his third season on the circuit, and it helped him to finish the year in the fifth and final spot on the Alps Tour Order of Merit.