Argentina’s Gustavo Rojas, the current leader of the Rankings, will have the chance to extend his lead at the top of the table as one of a field of only 37 playing in Switzerland this week for the Rolex Trophy at Golf Club de Geneve.
Rojas lost the Volvo Finnish Open at the third extra hole of a sudden-death play-off last week but his cheque of 7,575 euro (£5,411) was good enough to finally knock David Park off the top of the Rankings.
Park had been top of the Rankings since the third event of the year in the middle of April and he had held on to the top spot despite progressing to the European Tour following his victory in the Compaq European Grand Prix at Slaley Hall three weeks ago.
Park would have been teeing it up in Switzerland as the defending champion but his outstanding performances in just four events on the European Tour have earned him and exemption to the Open Championship at Carnoustie this week. Indeed when he won in Slaley Hall he was unaware of his opportunity to play in the Open as he told Sky Sports that he would still be playing in the Rolex Trophy saying: “It is a lovely place to play.”
Twelve months ago the Welshman won the title at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to claim his first victory since turning professional the previous year. The 1997 Walker Cup player shot a final round of 68 to draw level with Sweden’s Per Nyman. A birdie at the first extra hole was enough to secure the title.
Among the entries this week is Carl Suneson, currently occupying third spot in the Rankings, and Maarten Lafeber in fifth place.
The tournament, now in its 11th year, is again being played over the Robert Trent Jones-designed layout with its exquisite views over Lake Geneva
Over the past 11 years the tournament has been a good guide to future success. Indeed Denis Edlund, Anssi Kankonnen and Park, the last three winners, have all progressed to win their main Tour card.