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European Challenge Tour

Sordet seals fifth Challenge Tour title at Zebula

The Frenchman bounced back brilliantly from two bogeys in his opening four holes to card a five under par round of 67, setting the clubhouse target at 21 under par, before Conradie joined him at the top of the leaderboard to force a play-off at Zebula Golf Estate & Spa.

Sordet birdied the first extra hole to defeat home favourite Conradie, who could only make par, and his victory in victory in South Africa sees the 29-year-old climb 19 places to fourth position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, while Conradie catapults to eighth.

Overnight leader Deon Germishuys finished one shot off the pace, while Englishman Marco Penge was fourth on 19 under par.

Challenge Tour: First win since 2017

Sordet was delighted to secure his first victory since the 2017 NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, a year in which he finished second on the Challenge Tour Rankings behind Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen, admitting he has struggled with his game over the last few years.

“It feels surreal right now to get the win and it will take time to sink in,” he said. “The last few years have been tough on the DP World Tour and it is nice to return to the Challenge Tour and pick up a victory so early on in the season.

“I’ve played amazing all week and it is nice to finish with a birdie in the play-off to get that fifth win on the Challenge Tour.

“The only thing I could control out there was my game. The leaderboard was packed up the top, but I just had to focus on my score because I knew I was playing well. I was focused on creating birdie chances and I managed to do that pretty well today, so I am very happy.”

The Frenchman used his power to his advantage on the first play-off hole and it paid off after hitting the green in two to set up an eagle opportunity.

“In the play-off I knew I could hit it further than the other guy so I believed my strength was going for the green in two. I hit a nice three-iron on the green and managed to two-putt for birdie.”

JC Ritchie leads the Road to Mallorca Rankings

German Freddy Schott and South African CJ du Plessis shared fifth place on 17 under par, while Road to Mallorca Number One JC Ritchie, four-time DP World Tour winner Matteo Manassero, Englishman Todd Clements, Italian Jacopo Vecchi Fossa and South African JJ Senekal share seventh place on 16 under.

Ritchie still leads the Road to Mallorca Rankings following back-to-back victories at the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open and Jonsson Workwear Open, while Germany’s Alexander Knappe occupies second place following his victory at the season-opening Dimension Data Pro-Am. Belgium’s Christopher Mivis sits in third place, while Sordet and Oliver Hundebøll complete the top five.

The Road to Mallorca remains in Limpopo for the Limpopo Championship taking place at Euphoria Golf Club and Koro Creek Golf Club from March 31- April 3.

(Text: Press release Challenge Tour)

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European Challenge Tour

Challenge Tour: Ritchie makes it back-to-back wins in Durban

The ten-time Sunshine Tour winner posted a one under par final round of 71 at Durban Country Club to reach 26 under par and claim his second victory in as many weeks after successfully defending his Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open title last week.

Ritchie admitted he found it much tougher today but remained resilient to record two closing birdies and finish six shots clear of Belgium’s Christopher Mivis, who at one stage came within touching distance of the lead, reducing Ritchie’s advantage to two after an eagle at the 14th hole.

“It was tough out there today,” he said. “I’ve never played this golf course with this much wind before so I knew it was going to be different and the golf course showed its teeth today. I found it tough early on but luckily towards the end of the round I was able to figure it out and get the job done.

Challenge Tour: Birdie-birdie-finish for the win

“My girlfriend came up to me after the 14th hole and asked me if I wanted to know the scores,” he added. “She told me Mivis was 22 under and that surprised me. I had a game plan for the last three holes for the week and that was to make par at 16 and run, I felt like I could create a birdie opportunity at 17 and then 18 owed me one. I wanted to birdie it yesterday but found a bad lie in the bunker. Getting two birdies on the way home made it extra special.”

The 28-year-old was delighted to record back-to-back Challenge Tour victories and after finishing 24th on the 2021 Road to Mallorca Rankings, he understands the importance of getting an early advantage over his competitors.

“It feels special to win back-to-back on the Challenge Tour,” he said. “Playing the whole of last year on the Challenge Tour, I know how tough it is and you could rock up thinking that five under par will be enough to win and someone will shoot 20 under par. To beat these guys means everything to me and shows how far I’ve come.

“This gives me a lot of confidence for the season. I have always felt my game was good enough to win in Europe and take the next step.”

Mivis back-to-back runner-up

Mivis posted a six under par round of 66 to claim second place for the second consecutive week, one shot ahead of Iceland’s Haraldur Magnus who claimed third place on 19 under par. Englishman Ross McGowan and South African duo Jaco Prinsloo and Keenan Davidse shared fourth place on 16 under par.

Northern Irishman Tom McKibbin shared seventh place with Frenchman David Ravetto on 15 under, while England’s Steven Tiley, Swede Mikael Lindberg and South African Hennie Otto finished in a tie for ninth place on 14 under par.

Ritchie on top of the Road to Mallorca

Ritchie moves to the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings following back-to-back victories, while Alexander Knappe occupies second position following his victory at the season-opening Dimension Data Pro-Am. Mivis moves into third on the Rankings, while Daniel Hillier and McKibbin complete the top five.

The Road to Mallorca now heads to Bloemfontein for the Mangaung Open, taking place at Bloemfontein Golf Club and Schoeman Park Golf Club from March 3-6, 2022.

(Text: Press release Challenge Tour)

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Satellite Tours

Scandinavia’s golfing elite reach for the stars at Empordà Golf

The cream of Scandinavia’s male golfers are preparing to pack their bags and head to Spain’s renowned Empordà Golf Club later this month to put their skills to the test in the 2022 Golfstar Winter Series.

Two top events for Scandinavian golf

The popular resort in the Costa Brava will be home to the field of top 150 of Scandinavian players for 10 days as they compete in two 54-hole tournaments on Empordà’s two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Links and the Forest.

Sanctioned by the Swedish Golf Federation, the first event will be played from February 18-20 with the second taking place from February 22-24. Both tournaments will be included on the Official World Golf Ranking, and Golfbox Road to Europe, with each featuring a total prize fund of 600,000 Swedish Kronor (around €58,000).

The first class destination Empordà  Golf Club

Empordà has had the honour of staging numerous high-profile professional and amateur tournaments during its evolving history including events on the European Challenge Tour and the European Tour  Qualifying School.

The resort received widespread acclaim from both players and the media last October after staging two Challenge Tour events in successive weeks – the Empordà Challenge and Costa Brava Challenge – and the Challenge Tour has already confirmed Empordà will host another tournament at the venue this summer.

Flavio Papa, director of golf at Empordà Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Swedish Winter Series in February. It demonstrates the quality of our facilities here at Empordà Golf, that we are able to host multiple tournaments each year.”

“I am looking forward to welcoming the players and watching some high-performance golf take place over our challenging courses.”  

Located 30 minutes from Girona in the heart of the Costa Brava region, Empordà Golf Club’s impressive facilities include two 18-hole championship courses – Empordà Links and Empordà Forest, both designed world-renowned architect Robert von Hagge.

As part of the extensive renovation plans over the last two years, both courses have undergone significant investment to elevate the golf experience being offered to members and guests. Work has included the reconstruction of all bunkers using the Better Billy Bunker method, a comprehensive tree clearance programme and purchase of new greenkeeping equipment to improve the all-round condition of tees, fairways and greens.

Away from the fairways, Hotel Empordà Golf rebranded as Hotel Terraverda at the end of 2021. Hotel Terraverda has been transformed with a contemporary new look in the bedrooms, communal areas and restaurant after all being redesigned and renovated. Guests of the hotel can also now enjoy the new outdoor swimming pool that has been installed.

For more information on Empordà Golf Club, please visit: www.empordagolf.com

To book your stay at Hotel Terraverda, please visit: www.hotelterraverda.com

Text: The Azalea Group

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European Challenge Tour

European Challenge Tour Announces 2022 Schedule

The European Challenge Tour has today announced a record-breaking global schedule for the 2022 season which will see the Road to Mallorca’s total prize fund surpass the €8,000,000 mark for the first time. The first 20 players will earn DP World Tour cards for the 2023 season.

The 2022 Road to Mallorca will consist of 31 tournaments staged across three continents in 18 different countries.

It includes a return to Scotland for the first time in four years when the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by The R&A takes place in the final week of May. The event, which will be held in association with 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, will be the first of 19 tournaments in consecutive weeks where the Road to Mallorca will weave through 15 countries and end in France, from September 29 – October 2.

The comeback of the Road to Mallorca to China in the Challenge Tour Schedule 2022.

The Challenge Tour also returns to China for the first time since 2019 with back-to-back events, including the Foshan Open, where players will be given a final chance to earn their spot in the season-ending Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A.

The Grand Finale of the Challenge Tour 2022 takes another bite from the venue of 2021.

The finale of the 2022 Road to Mallorca will return to Club de Golf Alcanada, the setting for the 2019 Grand Final, where the top 45 players on the Road to Mallorca Rankings will compete for one of 20 life changing DP World Tour cards for the 2023 season. The top five graduates will also receive the John Jacobs Bursary, announced last month as part of DP World’s title partnership of the European Tour group’s main Tour.

The 2022 schedule includes seven co-sanctioned events with the Sunshine Tour, including a maiden visit to Tanzania for the Mount Kilimanjaro Klassic at Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate with Tanzania set to become the 52nd country to stage a Challenge Tour event.

Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour about the 2022 schedule:

“I am incredibly proud to unveil our schedule for the 2022 Road to Mallorca season, which boasts the biggest total prize fund since the Challenge Tour’s inception in 1989.”

“This expansive global schedule would not be possible without the incredible support of our promoters, national federations and tournament sponsors, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.

“We are also very grateful for the commitment of Rolex and The R&A, as well as DP World through their title partnership of the DP World Tour, all of which has helped us raise prize funds and increase playing opportunities for our members, further strengthening the Challenge Tour’s reputation as the perfect platform for players to achieve global success.”

The full 2022 Road to Mallorca International Schedule:

Date Tournament Venue
February 10-13 Dimension Data Pro-Am Fancourt Golf Estate, George, South Africa
February 17-20 Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open Royal Cape GC & Rondebosch GC, Cape Town, South Africa
February 24-27 Jonsson Workwear Open Durban CC & Mount Edgecombe CC, Durban, South Africa
March 3-6 Manguang Open Bloemfontein Golf Club and Schoeman Park Golf Club, Bloemfontein, South Africa
March 24-27 SDC Open Zebula Golf Estate & Spa and Elements Private Golf Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa
March 31 – April 3 Limpopo Championship Euphoria Golf & Lifestyle Estate and Koro Creek Bushveld Estate, Limpopo, South Africa
April 7-10 Mount Kilimanjaro Klassic Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate, Arusha, Tanzania
May 5-8 Challenge de España TBC
May 12-15 Czech Republic Event Confirmed TBC
May 26-29 Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by The R&A Newmachar GC, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
June 2-5 Czech Republic Event Confirmed TBC
June 9- 12 Spain Event Confirmed TBC
June 16-19 Czech Republic Event Confirmed TBC
June 23-26 Open de Bretagne Golf Bluegreen de Pléneuf Val André, Pléneuf, France
June 30-July 3 Italian Challenge TBC
July 7-10 Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, Le Vaudreuil, France
July 14-17 Euram Bank Open GC Adamstal, Ramsau, Austria
July 21-24 Big Green Egg German Challenge powered by VcG Wittelsbacher Golfclub, Neuburg an der Donau, Germany
July 28-31 Irish Challenge TBC
August 4-7 Vierumäki Finnish Challenge Vierumäki Resort, Vierumäki, Finland
August 11-14 Made in Frederikshavn Challenge Frederikshavn Golfklub, Denmark
August 18-21 Dormy Open Österåkers Golfklubb, Stockholm, Sweden
August 25-28 Indoor Golf Group Challenge Allerum Golfklubb, Helsingborg, Sweden
September 1-4 B-NL Challenge Trophy by Hulencourt Hulencourt, Genappe, Belgium
September 8-11 English Trophy TBC
September 15-18 Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort, Vau Óbidos, Portugal
September 22-25 Swiss Challenge Golf Saint Apollinaire, Folgensbourg, France
September 29 – October 2 France Event Confirmed Golf International de Pont Royal, Mallemort, France
October 13-16 China Event Confirmed TBC
October 20-23 Foshan Open Foshan GC, Guangdong, China
November 3-6 Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A Club de Golf Alcanada, Port d’Alcudia, Mallorca, Spain
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Viktor Hovland and Markus Helligkilde win at the PGA and Challenge Tours – Scandinavian finished on a high note

PGA Tour: World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

Viktor Hovland, from Norway came to defend his title this weekend and succeeded. Hovland signed four rounds of 67-65-62-67 to achieve a new tournament record of 23-under par. The young star wins his third title on the PGA Tour at the age of 24. Fourteen clubs were too many for him. Hovland let Danny Lee use his driver on the range, and he wracked it. The Norwegian played his best golf with a borrowed driver.

The first Scandinavian names on the leaderboard shows at T45. Henrik Norlander and Alex Noren finished with a total of 8-under par.

PGA Tour World Wide Tech Championship
Course Riviera Maya, Mexiko at the El Camaleon Golf Club.
Prize Money 7,200,000 US-Dollar
Champion Viktor Hovland
Scandinavian players Henrik Norlander and Alex Noren (T45)

LET Tour: Aramco Saudi Ladies International

Emily Pedersen, from Denmark, tried to defend champion in Saudi Arabia, but after four rounds of (73-71-67-71), the trophy slipped through her hands. Pedersen finished T17 on the leaderboard with a total of 6-under par. The best Scandinavian performance comes from Sanna Nuutinen (FIN). Nuutinen made a T9 with rounds of (71-65-73-69) for a total of 10-under par. This weekend, the Finnish player pocketed the amount of $19,452.11. Linnea Strom (SWE) and her mate Anna Nordqvist (SWE) wrapped up the event with totals of 9-under and 6-under par respectively.

The Swedish made a Top 20. Those 3 strokes difference mean a couple of thousand dolars. Strom collects $16,426.22 for a T13, while Nordqvist will take home the amount of $14,048.75 for a T17. The Aramco Saudi was not the best tournament for the Scandinavian, but that could easily change for the upcoming ones. 

LET Tour Aramco Saudi Ladies Tournament
Course Royal Greens Golf Club – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Prize Money 1 Million Dollars
Champion Lydia Ko
Scandinavian players Sanna Nuutinen(T9), Linnea Strom(T13), Anna Nordqvist(T17), Emily Kristine Pedersen(T17), Caroline Hedwall(T28)

European Tour: Portugal Masters 2021

Denmark must be proud. Two of their golfers showed on the top of the leaderboard. Both hand by hand, Nicolai Hojgaard and Lucas Bjerregaard shared the silver medals with a total of 17-under par. What a crazy performance these two had this weekend in Portugal. Only Thomas Pieters of Belgium climbed up one more spot to win the European Tour tournament. Pieters finished 2 strokes ahead of the Danish, with a total of 19-under par.

EU Tour Portugal Masters 2021
Course Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course – Vilamoura, Portugal
Prize Money 1.5 Million Euro
Champion Thomas Pieters
Scandinavian players Nicolai Hojgaard(T2), Lucas Bjerregaard(T2), Kristoffer Broberg(T12)

Challenge Tour: Challenge Tour Grand Final 2021

The Challenge Tour Grand Final was played in Mallorca, Spain at the T-Golf & Country Club. Markus Helligkilde brought all medals home. The Danish player not only won the tournament, but also the Challenge Tour Ranking.  Helligkilde added enough points to move up to #1 after the Grand Final. His mate, Niklas Nørgaard MØLLER (DEN), signed excellent rounds of (72-69-69-70) for a total of 4-under par and a T8 position. Also tied for the 8th place, Jesper KENNEGARD (SWE).

The Grand Final tested the steel nerves of most of the players that were competing to earn their pass to the European Tour next season. The environment was great, and the ceremony ended with a group picture of all 20 classified to the Main Tour.

Challenge Tour Challenge Tour Grand Final
Course T-Golf & Country Club Poniente – Mallorca, Spain
Prize Money 450,000 Euro
Champion Markus Helligkilde
Scandinavian players Markus Helligkilde(1), Niklas Nørgaard MØLLER(T8), Jesper KENNEGARD(T8)

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European Challenge Tour European Tour Ladies European Tour PGA Tour

Recalling last week: Final Round Reports

PGA Tour: World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

Hovland came to defend his title this weekend and succeeded. He scored four rounds of 67-65-62-67. With a new tournament record of 23 strokes under par, the shooting star wins his third title on the PGA Tour at the age of 24. He was not stopped by adverse circumstances, such as a broken driver , and relegated Carlos Ortiz to his home game and the Ryder Cup players Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler to places 2, 3 and 4.

English golfers didn’t even make it in the top 5 in this tournament. The first lad in line on the board is Aaron Rai at T15. Danny Willet came disappointingly behind at T27 playing four rounds of 68-68-68-69.

PGA Tour World Wide Tech Championship
Course Riviera Maya, Mexiko at the El Camaleon Golf Club.
Prize Money 7,200,000 US-Dollar
Defending Champion Viktor Hovland
English players Ian Poulter, Danny Willet, Tyrell Hatton, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Luke Donald, Aaron Rai
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LET Tour: Aramco Saudi Ladies International

Georgia Hall came in this week to represent the English women golfers. Hall came in at T9 scoring four rounds of 75-69-66-68.  Alice Hewson came right under the winner at T3. The winner, Lydia Ko scored 23 strokes under par. The event’s runner-up was 18-year-old Thai Atthaya Thitikul, this year’s LET Race to Costa del Sol champion. Her final day 66 placed her five shots ahead of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and  Hewson, who held the 36-hole lead.

LET Tour Aramco Saudi Ladies Tournament
Course Royal Greens Golf Club – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Prize Money 1 Million Dollars
Champion Lydia Ko
English players  Georgia Hall, Felicity Johnson, Laurie Davies, Liz Young, Bronte Law

European Tour: Portugal Masters 2021

Matt Wallace headed into the game with confidence only to be cut after the second round. Better performances included Matthew Jordan who finished at T5 with four rounds of 70-68-67-66. Oliver Wilson also had a great performance scoring one an eagle on the third round and ending at T12. The final round winner was Thomas Pieters of Belgium hitting 19 strokes under par.

EU Tour Portugal Masters 2021
Course Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course – Vilamoura, Portugal
Prize Money 1.5 Million Euro
Champion Thomas Pieters
English players David Horsey, Matthew Southgate, Jordan Smith, Matt Wallace, Ross, Mcgowan
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Challenge Tour: Challenge Tour Grand Final 2021

The Challenge Tour Grand Final was played in Mallorca, Spain at the T-Golf & Country Club. The Challenge Tour Grand Final is part of the Challenge Tour in the season 2021. Only two Englishmen were on the field this week. Their performance overall was pretty good. Andrew Wilson ended at T12 finishing with four rounds 75-67-71-68. Alfie Plant also scored quite well with 70-72-72-72 and finishing at T26.

Challenge Tour Challenge Tour Grand Final
Course T-Golf & Country Club Poniente – Mallorca, Spain
Prize Money 450,000 Euro
Champion Markus Helligkilde
English players Jonathon Thomson, Alfie Plant
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European Challenge Tour Live Satellite Tours

What the European Challenge Tour rankings and the Grand Final mean – Road to Mallorca

First things first, for those who are not very familiar with the different Tours, the European Challenge Tour is the male subcategory of the Main European Tour. Since its inception in 1989, the Challenge Tour has developed into a proven training ground, where the champions-in-waiting compete across the globe for a place on the European Tour. Many players who have progressed from the Challenge Tour have gone on to become Major Champions. Including Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen. In addition to Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter, Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren.

Walking the path towards the Main Tour.

Professional golfers usually start their career playing in smaller Tours such as the Alps Tour, or the Q-School. It stands for European Tour Qualifying School. The Q-School is the thoughest test in golf. Held between September and November each year. Only the top 25 players at the end of the six-round Final Stage will earn the direct pass to the European Tour for the following season.

Behind the Scenes. The Challenge Tour from first hand.

The competitiveness is so high that most golfers tend to go step by step, qualifying from one Tour to the next. Currently ranked #1 of the Challenge Tour, the Spanish golfer Santiago Tarrio explains:

The Alps Tour is so sacrificed due to the traveling expenses, and the low money prizes. Best case scenario, your bank account finishes Par-even at the end of the season. But that is only possible if you constantly win the events. If otherwise, you are continuiously losing money to play.

This humble golfer talks about his personal experience. Santiago worked as a waiter for five years to save up some money before he could get back to the golf fields. He claims that the sponsors don’t know you yet, and it is hard to find one that invest in you, which hinders financial support. Tarrio and his team missed some cuts at first. They depended on a loan to keep playing before they finally earned the full card to the Challenge Tour. It was then, when the economic struggle decreased.

Delving into The Grand Final.

This week, the European Challenge Tour celebrates its last tournament of the season, the Grand Final. It takes places from November the 4th-7th, 2021 at the T-Golf & Country Club, in Mallorca, Spain. The Top 45 players of the Challenge Tour season will make it to the Grand Final. However, only the best 20 of the Ranking will earn a pass to the European Tour for next year.

To throw some light over the reality of what these golfers go through. The Grand Final offers the highest monetary prize of all year, 450,000€ to spread between the 45 participants. The last position will collect 2,000€, compared to an average of 8,000€ that any player pockets on a regular European Tour event for making the cut.

From Czech Republic, Ondrej Lieser is the winner from last year. He is currently 310th of the OWGR. This year, all eyes were on the Spanish pro golfer Santiago Tarrio as he finished second in 2020. However, the results gave a 180º degrees turn. He shot 1-over (72 shots) in the opening round to situate himself at the end of the leaderboard.

Santiago Tarrio of Spain plays his tee shot on the 1st hole during Day One of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final. (Getty Images)

The second round has already started and apparently he was only starting engines yesterday. Tarrio climbed up 30 postions after the second day. He shot a total of 4-under par (67 shots) for a Top 10. There is a small chance that he will not close the year as number one. Tarrio and his caddy Noelia will surely give it all to bring the trophy home.

After a year of empty stadiums, fields, and pavillions, Borja Ochoa – General Manager of the T Golf & Country Club is excited to welcoming the public again. “Happily, we are returning to normality and this year will be able to welcome you all without restrictions.” People deserves to watch this show.

A greenside leaderboard is seen at the end of the Day Two of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final. (Getty Images)

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European Challenge Tour

Gouveia remains composed on day two in Spain

The Challenge Tour is the second-tier men’s professional golf tour in Europe and is operated by the PGA European Tour. World ranking points are awarded for high finishes in Challenge Tour events. This week’s tournament is being played in Girona, Spain at the Empordà Golf Club.

Press release

Ricardo Gouveia posted a four under par round of 67 to open a two stroke lead before darkness halted round two of the Challenge Costa Brava.

The Portuguese got to ten under par at Empordà Golf with his closest challenger Frederic Lacroix of France reaching eight under par through 12 holes.

The 30-year-old  has  been in the winner’s circle twice this year at the Italian Challenge and the Made in Esbjerg Challenge – Presented by FREJA & TotalEnergies. After two solid first rounds in the second of two consecutive events on the same course, Gouveia is aiming to take his opportunities as he targets a sixth Challenge Tour victory.

Comments from Gouveia

“I played very well,” he said. “I finished yesterdays round this morning, played really solid, finished well yesterday and I just continued the good form from yesterday and yeah it’s really difficult out there, so I am happy with how I scored.

“The wind has been very steady this week from the same direction, and I started off well again this morning so to kind of have a small stop in between rounds was good and just to keep it going I was happy with the way I hit the ball as well.

“The course is the same and you know where not to hit the ball so yeah it really helps, and it was a new course last week so have four competitive rounds in it’s a really big help.

“It’s completely different conditions this week, the wind is from a different direction.

“I will do the same things and with this wind you just try and minimise the mistakes and take the opportunities when they come around and that’s the game plan for the rest of the tournament.”

Who else is up to par?

Chase Hanna of the United States and Norway’s Kristian Krogh Johannessen are a shot behind Lacroix of France at seven under par and will also complete their second rounds on Thursday.

Four-time European Tour winner Matteo Manassero and Björn Hellgren of Sweden both signed for one under par rounds of 70 to take fifth spot.

The second round of the Challenge Costa Brava was suspended due to darkness at 18:56pm local time and will resume at 8:50am on Thursday October 21, with round three not starting before 11:30am.

Press Release from European Tour Communications

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European Challenge Tour

Dantorp ready for action at Challenge Costa Brava

Jens Dantorp is aiming to build on his recent good run of form as the 2021 Road to Mallorca arrives at its penultimate stop at the Challenge Costa Brava.

The Swede has finished inside the top 15 in six of his last seven European Challenge Tour starts, including a seventh place finish at last week’s Empordà Challenge, the first of back-to-back events at Empordà Golf.

Climbing the Road to Mallorca rankings

The 32-year-old is currently 28th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, with only this week’s Challenge Costa Brava and the season-ending Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A left on the 2021 schedule, and Dantorp has a first victory since the Ras Al Khaimah, 2017 Golf Challenge in his sights – as well as a spot in that all-important top 20.

The Swede comments on his recent stellar performance

“The last part of the season has been pretty good for me,” he said. “It feels pretty good, I’ve been up there a few times but haven’t really got the job done. Hopefully I can get it done in at least one of the last two.

“My main goal this season was to finish inside the top 20, this is a good course and I know the course at the Grand Final is a good one as well so hopefully two good weeks are coming up, you know the game plan now so you just have to go out there and do it again.”

The 2013 Rolex Trophy winner has recorded nine top 20 finishes on the 2021 Road to Mallorca and believes this year it is all down to the fine margins having finished in 11th place on four separate occasions.

“I’ve wanted to be up there in the top five,” he said. “Overall, in terms of how I have played I feel pretty happy with that. There are small margins as to whether you’re in the top five or even 11th place, in which I have been four times this year, so hopefully I can have those margins on my side for the last two.

“I’m happy but not too happy. I’ll be happy if I am finishing in the top 20. If I get a win here obviously it’s going to help a lot, I can’t affect what the other people are doing, I just need to focus on getting my job done and hopefully that will be enough to win one of the two.”

Road to Mallorca Number Nine Marcel Schneider joins Dantorp in the field this week as he looks to cement his European Tour card for the 2022 season after recording two wins this year, while Frenchman Julien Brun, the winner of last week’s Empordà Challenge, will also tee it up at the Challenge Costa Brava.

The 2021 Challenge Costa Brava gets under way at 8:20am local time on Tuesday October 19, with Dantorp teeing it up at 8:50am alongside Spaniard Lucas Vacarisas and Nicolai Kristensen of Denmark.

Press Release from European Tour Communications

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How the best Scandinavian golfers came out from last week’s events

Last week the LPGA took a break, and the LET Tour received all the attention for the ladies tours. On the men’s side, the CJ Cup tournamnet was a pure show that brought Rickie Fowler (USA) back to the upper part of the leaderboard. Rory McIlroy overtook the top American players, on American soil. The participation of the Scandinavian golfers was not the highest of the year so far. However, Sebastian Söderberg(SWE) and Alexander Björk(SWE) brought some glory home. Söderberg finished T2 at the European Tour tournament of Esterlla Damm Andalucia Masters in Valderrama Golf Course, and Björk made an incredible T4. The best golfers from Denmark, Finlad, Norway, and Sweden are now having some rest to give it all next weekend at the PGA, European, LPGA, and Let Tours.

PGA TOUR: The CJ Cup at Summit

The Irish golfer Rory McIlroy won his 20th tour victory at the PGA Tour event. McIlroy made the exemption to a top 5 on the leaderboard strongly taken by the American players. Viktor Hovland made the Top 20, finishing T18 with a total of 18-under par. Hovland started strong with a bogey-free round of 65 (7-under par), but the luck didn’t last and didn’t manage to push more birdies in. Alex Noren (T59) and Rasmus Hojgaard (63rd) managed to make few birdies along their rounds, but could not lower down the amount of bogeys per round, which made it difficult to rise up on the leaderboard. Noren and Hojgaard signed totals of -10 and -9 respectively.

PGA Tour CJ Cup at Summit
Course The Summit Club, Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Prize Money 9.8 Mio US-Dollar (8.4 Mio EUR)
Champion Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
Scandinvian  players Viktor Hovland (T18), Alex Noren (T59), Rasmus Hojgaard (63rd)

European Tour: Andalucía Masters

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters was played at the golf course of Real Club Valderrama, which plays at Par 71. To the surprise of the Scandinavian field, Sebastian Soderberg shocked the public coming out of the blue with scores of 70-69-72-70 to finish T2, only 3 shots behind the leader, Matt Fitzpatrick. Also from Sweden, his fellow teammate Alexander Björk made a T4 with a total of 2-under par. Real Club Valderrama was in perfect shape, definitely set up for professional golfers of high calibre. Other players from Denmark such as Thomas Bjorn, Nicolai Hojgaard, and Lucas Bjerregaard did not make the cut this time. Thomas Bjorn was in first line after the last player who moved forward into the last two rounds.

European Tour Andalucía Masters
Course Real Club Valderrama (Spain)
Prize Money 3 Million EUR
Champion Matt Fitzpatrick
Scandinvian  players Sebastian Soderberg (T2), Alexander Björk (T4), Joachim B. Hansen (T15)

Ladies European Tour: Aramco Team Series

Across the Atlantic the Ladies European Tour competed in New York after a week off from playing. Glen Oaks Club hosted the event and had a stellar field assembled. Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, together with the Sollheim Cup star Anna Nordqvist (SWE) finsihed T7 with a total of 5-under par. Krista Bakker (FIN) finished T17. Bakker started with a round of even-par (72), Bakker improved in her second round playing under par (70), but the nerves of the last round did not allow her to climb higher on the leaderboard, as she closed up the Aramco Team Series with a scorecard of 1-over par (73).

EU Ladies Tour Aramco Team Series
Course The Glen Oaks Club, New York (USA)
Prize Money 800,000 USD (692,076 EUR)
Champion Charley Hull (ENG)
Scandinvian  players Anna Nordqvist (T7), Marianne Skarpnord (T7), Krista Bakker (T17)
 
 
 
 
 
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Una publicación compartida de Anna Nordqvist (@a_nordqvist)

Champions Tour: SAS Championship

The SAS Championship was held in Cary, North Carolina at the Prestonwood CC. The SAS Championship is part of the Champions Tour, where the legends play. The sport of golf has not always been popular in the Scandinavia Area (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden). However, it is slowly becoming more of an interest for the younger generations. For that reason, there are not yet many golfers that participate with the legends. However, Robert Karlsson (SWE) is a pioneer on the Scandinavian golf. During his first round, Karlsson signed a scorecard with more birdies than pars on it, but a couple of bogeys limited his result to 6-under par. The following two rounds, the Swedish player finished 4-over par and even-par on the last, for a total of 2-under par (66-76-72).

PGA Tour CJ Cup at Summit
Course Prestonwood Country Club Cary, North Carolina (USA)
Prize Money 2.1 Mio US-Dollar (1.8 Mio EUR)
Champion Lee Janzen(USA)
Scandinvian  players Robert Karlsson (T34)