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Friday, 19 March 2010
The Challenge Tour resumes this week on the island of Sardinia with the Is Molas Challenge Open, starting on Thursday, when a shake-up of the rankings is a definite possibility.

After his magnificent runner-up spot last week in the Moroccan Open on his European Tour debut, David Park, has qualified to play in the Compaq European Grand Prix at Slaley Hall so his position as ranking leader could be under threat.

And with second-placed Carl Suneson also in action at Slaley Hall, the opportunity is there for Dutchman, Maarten Lafeber, currently third over 5,000 euro behind Park, to take over at the top providing he finishes first or second.

Others who could make progress up the ranking are Didier de Vooght of Belgium, currently lying fifth, sixth-placed Markus Brier from Austria, and England's Ian Poulter, winner of the Ivory Coast Open in April.

With only five of the leading 15 players on the rankings in Is Molas, there is a clear chance for those outside the automatic promotion spots to make up ground over a course that doesn't give up shots easily.

The 6,383 mtrs (6,890-yard), par 72 layout is a tough test at any time but if the wind blows then it is likely to prove a real tiger. In the past three years the winning total has never been better than seven under par and a year ago five under 283 was good enough to see Magnus Persson take the title.

On a blustery final day, Persson carded a 74 to finish two strokes clear of French duo, Thomas Levet and Christophe Pottier, as overnight leader Pauli Hughes of Finland slumped to an 81 and joint eighth.

The Swede's victory ended a five-year run without a win. "It was nice to win again after so long," he remarked.
The Is Molas Challenge carries a prize fund of 63,000 euro (£45,000) with the winner collecting 10,233 euro (£7,309).

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1DREDGE, BradleyWAL18-18
2BRIER, MarkusAUT18-16
T3HIGGINS, DavidIRL18-14
T3HAMERTON, GrantENG18-14
T3NUTT, JuanVEN18-14
6MURPHY, GaryIRL18-13
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