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Friday, 19 March 2010
The curtain comes down on another successful Challenge Tour season with the First Cuba European Challenge Tour Grand Final in Cuba this week.

The schedule, which began in the heat of Nairobi with the Tusker Kenya Open in early March, reaches it climax at Varadero Golf Club when the leading players contest the final Rankings with the top 15 earning their cards for the main Tour next year.

Over the past eight months the Challenge Tour has visited 16 different countries for 27 tournaments. The First Cuba European Challenge Tour Grand Final will be the 28th and Cuba will take the country tally to 17 , marking the first time the Tour has visited the Caribbean.

The Varadero course was designed by Canadian Les Furber, who gained experience working with Robert Trent Jones, cost US$10 million and replaced the nine holes built in 1930. It occupies a seaside site, measures 6,856 yards (6,269 metres), par 72, and the holes are a mixture of parkland and links.

The First Cuba European Challenge Tour Grand Final draws a line under the season and involves just the leading 41 players on the Rankings. Carl Suneson could yet be toppled from No.1 if Iain Pyman has his way.

The 26-year-old Yorkshireman's victory in the Challenge de France Bayer last week at Golf Disneyland near Paris means he could overtake the Spaniard if he can win again. "That is my target," says Pyman.

Only Pyman, who will earn 18,050 euro (£12,892) of the total 105,000 euro (£75,000) purse if he wins, can deprive Suneson of finishing top but equally fascinating will be the battle for ninth to 15th places.

After 72 holes, those who finish ranked 16th and below are guaranteed places at the Tour's Qualifying School Finals next month in Spain.

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1SCAHILL, StephenNZL18-11
T2LARA, José ManuelESP18-9
T2STENSON, HenrikSWE18-9
T4GOTTFRIDSON, PatrikSWE18-8
T4NYMAN, Per GSWE18-8
T6STORGAARD, KnudDEN18-7
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