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Monday, 19 April 2004
The European Challenge Tour makes history in the land of the Pyramids this week, as the Al Ahram-Jolie Ville Sharm El Sheikh Challenge becomes the first European professional golf tournament ever staged in Egypt.

The Al Ahram-Jolie Ville Sharm El Sheikh Challenge, to be played at the magnificent Jolie Ville Golf Resort, Sharm El Sheikh, is a fitting addition to the Schedule, as the Challenge Tour continues to break new ground for golf.

The Challenge Tour has already visited a diverse array of countries and cultures this season, from Guatemala to Zambia and it will be an honour for players and officials to take part in the biggest golfing event ever held in Egypt.

Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, believes that this week’s tournament will be a popular success.

“Our decision to come to Egypt was an easy one to make for many reasons,” he said.

“Being the first Tour to hold a European event in the country is an honour, and we hope that this is the first step on a long, successful road for golf in Egypt. We feel it is important that the Challenge Tour plays its part in developing the game around the world and we continue to look for new countries and venues to visit.

“Another deciding factor in coming to Egypt was the Jolie Ville Golf Resort itself. Here, the Challenge Tour players will find a first class facility that rivals anywhere we have visited on our travels – I’m sure the golfers will do the course justice so that we can have a fantastic tournament.”

The Al Ahram-Jolie Ville Sharm El Sheikh Challenge signals the beginning of the main body of the Challenge Tour season and is the first full Challenge Tour event of the year, after the first five co-sanctioned tournaments that were spread throughout Central America and Africa.

The success of the early co-sanctioned events has been profound, with many of the players at the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings already having laid the foundations for an inspiring season on Europe’s second Tour.

Four out of the five Challenge Tour champions of 2004 will line up in Egypt, as part of a 156 strong field competing for a $125,000 prize fund over the 6,546 yard par 70 championship course at the five star Jolie Ville Golf Resort.

There is currently a three way tie at the top of the Rankings after the Madeira Island Open, where Steven Jepessen of Sweden, Australian Brad Kennedy and Rob Rashell of the United States tied for third place and saw €29,826 of their prize money put them at the summit of the Challenge Tour Rankings.

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