The Volvo Finnish Open has been a permanent fixture on the European Challenge Tour Schedule since inception in 1989, and in Frenchman Christian Céveär and Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen, boasts two former winners who have gone onto to fulfil their potential by becoming full European Tour winners.
Céveär won at the Espoon Golfseura in 1998 before securing his maiden European Tour victory at this year’s Canarias Open de España, while Kjeldsen won in Finland the year before Céveär, and went onto European Tour success at the 2003 Diageo Championship at Gleneagles.
This weekend’s Challenge Tour field will be looking to follow that example as the race for Ranking positions intensifies.
One man hoping to make an impression is England’s David Ryles, who finished tied sixth in Finland last year and hopes that a return visit to the 6773 yard, par 72 Espoon Golfseura can trigger a return to top form.
“I’m really looking forward to Finland again – I played nicely there last year but I was in a run of really good form and I was in one of those phases where you don’t think about the game too much, you are just in a zone where you don’t think about it and just swing it.
“I had finished second at the Galeria Kaufhof Pokal Challenge, and went to Finland in really good shape.
“This year has been a different story but my game is coming back and hopefully I can keep on improving and do something in Finland. I really like the course, it’s a fair test of golf and you have to make sure that you take your chances because the scoring there is always low.”
Finland’s Tuomas Tuovinen agrees with that sentiment. The 23 year old reckons the Espoon Golfseura is among the best courses in his homeland, and hopes that he and his fellow countryman can continue the development of Finnish golf with a strong showing this weekend.
“It’s an important tournament for Finland,” said Tuovinen. “I think we have to produce more players who can play at a high level on the Challenge Tour, and next week gives us the chance to gain experience and learn what it takes to succeed at this high level because if you look at the scoring there in the past you will find it is always low.”