Denmark’s Thomas Norret will be seeking a quick-fire double in Finland this week when he returns there in search of the Talma Finnish Challenge to add to the Volvo Finnish Open title he won at Espoo three weeks ago.
The 28 year old has a special affinity with Finland, having been second and eighth respectively in the 1999 and 2000 Finnish Masters. Norret closed with a 65 at Espoo to claim his first Challenge Tour title and the portents look promising for the Dane with a liking for his native Scandinavia.
Meanwhile Alberto Binaghi tees off in search of his first victory in three years. The 37 year old Italian
Binaghi, whose last tournament victory was in the 1999 San Paolo Vita Open, shot a course record 65 in the second round last year to lead at halfway but was overhauled by Sweden’s Klas Eriksson.
Three putts at the last cost him outright second place but he said: “I like the Talma course, especially as I shot a course record in round two. It is a course where you have to play every kind of shot and usually there are a couple of days of windy conditions.
“Those days can make a big difference on this course where some parts are flat and others are quite hilly. Many of the holes are different with some in the trees; others having a links feel about them, while others are somewhat American with lakes.”
The Talma Finnish Challenge was new to the Challenge Tour schedule last year and this week’s prize fund is again €150,000 with €25,000 available to the winner.
This week’s field of 156 includes 11 winners from the past year, including eight from this season, as well as several players who gained European Tour cards at last November’s Qualifying School but are seeking to improve their Challenge Tour rankings.