Tuesday, 15 August 2000
This week the Challenge Tour makes its annual visit to Norway for the Norwegian Open, a tournament which has been part of the Challenge Tour schedule since 1994.

In those six previous events, players from five different nations have lifted the title, starting with Irishman Raymond Burns in the first year. Since then the champions have been Stephen Field (England), Ignacio Feliu (Spain), Dimitri Bieri (Switzerland), Gary Emerson (England), and Pehr Magnebrant from Sweden.

This year the tournament will be played at a new venue, Losby Golfklubb, a 20-minute drive from the centre of Oslo. Losby has only been open for about a year but with its well-equipped clubhouse, on-site hotel and conference centre, and practice facilities, it should prove popular with the players.

Designed by Swedish architect Peter Nordvall on a hilly site, Losby is an open, parkland course measuring 6,289 metres (6,868 yards) par 72. It has big, undulating greens while there are a number of water hazards in the form of ponds and ditches.

A year ago, when the tournament was hosted by the Sorknes club, Magnebrant carded a closing round of 67 to win his second Challenge Tour title. He began the final day two strokes behind the leader, England's Sam Little, Magnebrant was soon ahead and his 67 equalled the course record set the previous day by fellow Swede, Fredrik Orest.

Magnebrant eventually won by three strokes from Patrik Gottfridson with Finland's Mika Lehtinen a shot further back in third.

But the 29-year-old Swede will not be defending the title because he has a commitment with his sponsors in Sweden. This year's event has a purse of 78.000 euro (approx £50,000) with the winner receiving 12,669 euro (approx £8,000).

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