Challenge Tour’s 2015 schedule reflects stability and diversity
Story published at 10:38, Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
The European Challenge Tour’s increasing strength, stability and diversity is reflected by a 2015 schedule which comprises 25 tournaments across 20 different countries and builds on the unprecedented success of the 2014 campaign.
Following a year in which seven former Challenge Tour alumni represented the victorious European Team at The 2014 Ryder Cup, 2013 graduate Brooks Koepka rose to prominence on The European Tour and a record €6.5 million was on offer on the second tier, 2015 promises to continue in that strong vein.
The season will once again culminate in the season-ending four-tournament Final Swing, which proved a huge success in its inaugural year as it offered the Challenge Tour stars some of the most lucrative prize funds at the business end of the campaign, in China, Oman and Dubai.
The 2015 campaign will reach a thrilling climax against the backdrop of one of the most iconic skylines in the world for the third consecutive year at the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.
Three new venues will play host to some of Europe’s – and indeed the world’s – most promising young players for the first time, starting at May’s Turkish Airlines Challenge, which will be played over the beautiful Gloria Old Course in Belek.
A month later, the Challenge Tour players will face another new challenge as Golf de Pierpont, south of Brussels, plays host to the KPMG Trophy, before the newly-named GANT Open in Finland welcomes Aura Golf Club to the fold in August.
While some of the Tour’s most historic events, such as the Barclays Kenya Open, the Rolex Trophy and the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open, will continue their long-standing tradition on the second tier, the Azerbaijan Challenge Open returns for a second year after the huge success of the country’s first professional golf tournament in 2014, which provided Moritz Lampert with a crucial third victory of the season.
Meanwhile, the likes of the Aegaen Airlines Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort, the Northern Ireland Open Challenge and the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic all add to the stability and continuity of the 2015 schedule.
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “While the increasing depth of talented players on the Challenge Tour has never been in doubt, our 2015 schedule is solid proof that the depth, strength and consistency of our tournaments is on the rise every year.
“With 25 of the 27 tournaments from 2014 continuing into the new season, this gives a strong message that the Challenge Tour system works for all parties involved – the players, the sponsors and the partner federations.
“Having planted the seed of golf for the first time in nations such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Oman, it is hugely pleasing that the relationships with our hosts in these developing golfing nations has continued to blossom as those events go from strength to strength.
“As well as our pioneering spirit at the Challenge Tour, we also pride ourselves on tradition and so we are delighted to see the continuation of such pillars in our schedule as the Open Blue Green Cotes d’Armor Bretagne, the Challenge de España and the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda, while the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts and the Kazakhstan Open are among those now building their own traditions on our tour.
“We must extend our sincere thanks to the sponsors, federations and venues which are the crucial cogs in the Challenge Tour machine and we look forward to building upon our strong relationships, while continuing to provide Europe and the world’s most promising young golfers with a platform to develop into sporting superstars.”
European Challenge Tour http://www.europeantour.com/challengetour/