A deep dive into the Challenge Tour and the making of golf’s heroes

The UAE to host two events in Abu Dhabi next month at Al Ain and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

By KT Golf

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Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club will host a Challenge Tour event for the first time next month. - Supplied photo
Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club will host a Challenge Tour event for the first time next month. - Supplied photo

Published: Tue 26 Mar 2024, 5:17 PM

The UAE will host two Challenge Tour events next month - the Abu Dhabi Challenge at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, from April 18-21 and the UAE Challenge which returns to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from April 25-28.

Both tournaments boast a prizefund of $300,000 and they are the next two events on the 2024 Challenge Tour schedule following last week’s Kolkata Challenge in India.

The long-term partnership between the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) and the European Tour’s Group included a provision that the UAE will host two Challenge Tour events a season.

Last year Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach were the venues for the two events won by Ricardo Gouveia (Port) and Maximillian Rottluff (Ger).

This year Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club will make its debut on the Challenge Tour having partnered the EGF in hosting many of its leading amateur tournaments.

Let’s deep dive into what the Challenge Tour is all about.

The Challenge Tour was introduced in 1986 and is the second-tier men’s professional golf tour in Europe and an Order of Merit was introduced in 1989.

The current regulation is that the top 20 players on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca Order of Merit at the end of the 2024 season will be promoted to the DP World Tour for the following season. The Challenge Tour receives OWGR points.

The Road to Mallorca is styled as ‘Where Heroes are Made’ with 30 tournaments on the calendar, in 19 countries and one champion.

Last year’s Class of 2023 included Sam Bairstow, recent winner on the DP World Tour in South Africa Matteo Manassero and Jesper Svensson, who won last week’s Porsche Singapore Open.

The Clutch Pro Tour, who recently visited the UAE with two events, are one of the feeder tours to the Challenge Tour along with the Tartan Pro Tour.

Players to have come through the Challenge Tour are: Justin Rose, Ewen Ferguson, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and younger brother Alex,

We all look forward to the Challenge Tour visiting the UAE, especially showcasing local talent.

The EGF receives 30 invites for each Challenge Tour event in the UAE, to allocate to invites for professionals and amateurs, including the UAE National Team, both local (through the Emirates PGA) and international as they feel appropriate.

The EGF can also exchange their invites with other Federations and tournaments providing wider opportunities for local pros and amateurs to play overseas in these prestigious tournaments.

Names of players who have entered and invited to the two Challenge Tour events will be announced shortly.

For further information Visit: www.europeantour.com

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