The European Challenge Tour touches down in Spain this weekend for the Segura Viudas Challenge de España, with Carl Suneson looking to recapture the glorious form that secured him the Number One spot on the Rankings in 1999 on his home soil.
The tournament will be staged at the exquisite Torremirona Golf Club in Girona – one of the venues used during Stage Two of The European Tour Qualifying School last season – and carries a prize fund of €135,000.
Suneson, who won three tournaments in 1999 en route to becoming Challenge Tour Champion, played Stage Two at Torremirona last season and was suitably impressed by the lay out.
“There are a lot of testing holes – some very good par threes as well as a couple of driveable par fours – so I think that the players will enjoy it,” said the 36 year old Spaniard.
“The scoring could be quite low given how far guys are hitting the ball in the modern game, but the course also has its tough patches as well.”
Suneson, who has amassed a wealth of experience on both The European Tour and the Challenge Tour in his 14 years as a professional, is well placed to asses the current crop of Challenge Tour players.
He feels that the standard of play has been taken to a higher level since his victorious Challenge Tour season in 1999 and, while the Spaniard has felt the financial differences between Europe’s two top Tours, he is enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere of the Challenge Tour this year.
“Obviously the main thing that you notice when you come back onto the Challenge Tour is the difference in prize money from The European Tour – it comes as something of a shock to you, but I would definitely agree that the Challenge Tour is the best way to get back onto the main Tour,” he said.
“I think the standard has risen since I won the Rankings back in 1999, and you really have to shoot low scores to have any chance of getting onto the leaderboard. It really gets the competitive juices flowing again as well.
“The players on the Challenge Tour these days are mostly young guys with a real desire to make their way in the game. Most of them have the driver out on every hole, and I think that the game is played with a lot more aggression than it was even a few years back.”