Summer has arrived for the European Challenge Tour – with this week’s Nykredit Danish Open signalling the start of a three month run of at least 11 tournaments that will play a major role in determining the final 2004 Rankings.
The Nykredit Danish Open – a tournament that has been a feature on the Schedule since 1993 – sees the Challenge Tour come into its own, as the players criss-cross the continent, chasing one of those top 15 places on the Rankings that will secure them a place on the European Tour.
Denmark, Spain, France and Germany will all host the Challenge in June alone. July will see tournaments in Finland, France and then England, with Wales, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden awaiting arrival of the Challenge Tour in August.
It all gets under way at the par 71, 6945 yard Esbjerg Golfklub in Denmark this week, and one man in particular is looking to continue the form that has taken him to the summit of the current Challenge Tour Rankings, Sweden’s Leif Westerberg.
Westerberg won the last Challenge Tour event, the Tessali-Metaponto Open de Puglia e Basilicata three weeks ago, and is determined to hang onto his Number One Spot.
The 29 year old has amassed €35,675 and is looking to follow the example of his fellow countryman, Johan Edfors, who won the Rankings last season after four years of Challenge Tour experience.
Westerberg has featured on the Challenge Tour since 1997 and is confident that he can now follow Edfors onto the European Tour International Schedule after his maiden Challenge Tour victory in Italy.
“I think my own example is very much like that of Edfors,” he continued. “Johan had been playing Challenge Tour for a few years, and like me he had struggled through most of them before he got his break last season.
“I can only hope to do the same as him now and I think our two similar stories show just how much golf is a game of confidence. We are all good players, but the difference between playing with confidence and without is unbelievable.
“I hope to continue playing as well as did in Italy for the rest of the season. I am in a good position at the moment but that can all change in the space of a few weeks so I have to make sure that I can make some more good finishes to make sure I am in the top 15 at the end of the season.”