While victory at this week’s Belt and Road Colourful Yunnan Golf Open would go a huge way towards graduation for any of the European Challenge Tour’s finest, a big result could change the life of China Tour Member Callum Tarren.
Based in Darlington in the north of England, the 27 year old currently travels to the Far East for weeks at a time to compete against many of China’s most talented players.
Since first joining the China Tour in 2016 Tarren has excelled, following up an eighth-place finish in the Order of Merit on debut with one victory and five top five finishes last season – good enough for third in the end-of-season rankings.
The Englishman also impressed in his two appearances on the Challenge Tour last year, following up a share of tenth in the Hainan Open with a fifth-place finish in the lucrative Foshan Open – an event which he led after 18 holes.
Now back competing on Europe’s top developmental tour Tarren is fully aware of the significance of this week’s tournament – and he is hoping he can take full advantage of what’s on offer. “It would be huge for me to get another good result this week,” he said.
“I played two events last season and earned enough money to keep my card in theory – I just wasn’t able to play enough tournaments.
“A big week can obviously change the path that I’m on at the moment but I’m just going to take it in my stride and see what happens. Hopefully I can take the opportunity.
“I am really excited about this week. I have played this golf course a couple of times before so I know it quite well. It is great to be back on the Challenge Tour and any time you are playing at that next level you have to take your chance.”
Tarren will tee it up at Kunming’s Yulongwan Golf Club for the third time this week having competed at the course during the past two seasons on the China Tour. Having finished in sixth place there in 2016, and 12th last year, Tarren believes he has the game to contend in Yunnan Province once again.
“I am coming into the week in good form,” he said. “I had a break from December until March but we are now four events into the China Tour season and I finished as a runner-up last month – so I think my game is good and I just need to get the putter warmed up.
“I was in the final group here last year but I shot one over and fell away. I do feel the course suits my game though. The greens here are very slopey but this year they are also quite firm – whereas in the past they have been quite soft.
“I much prefer firmer greens though because it’s not a putting competition then and it becomes a ball-striker’s golf course – you have to put it in the right areas here or you will be punished.”