The Challenge Tour makes its second visit of the year to Spain this week for the Costa Blanca Challenge, a new tournament on the schedule with a prize fund of 80,000 euro (£50,000).
It was back in February that the Tour began its 2000 programme with the Challenge de Espana at Badajoz when Sweden’s Eric Carlberg emerged as champion.
Whereas Badajoz is on the Portuguese border, this week’s venue is on the opposite side of Spain, at the Club de Golf Bonalba, which is situated approximately 10 km from Alicante.
The field of 156 players includes many who are expected to challenge for the top 15 places on offer at the end of the season for automatic promotion to the European Tour for 2001.
Carlberg and Trevor Immelman, from South Africa, winners of the opening two events, are in the field as well as former main tour players Miles Tunnicliff, Andrew Sherborne and Daniel Chopra.
Justin Rose makes his first Challenge Tour appearance of the year while the large Spanish entry includes Juan Quiros, who was among the front runners in the recent Spanish Open, and former Ryder Cup man Manuel Pinero.
The Bonalba course is comparatively new and lies close to the Mediterranean coast. It is fairly open and difficult if the wind blows and water comes into play on seven holes. It has played host to events on the Spanish Tour but this is the first time the European Tour has paid a visit.