The European Challenge Tour continues its global voyage of discovery with an inaugural visit to Peru this weekend, as the players prepare for the final part of the three leg journey to Latin America at the TIM Peru Open.
Peru is one of Latin America’s most intriguing countries with a rich and varied history of some great civilizations – from the Incas to the Spanish Conquistadors.
Those Challenge Tour Members who make the pilgrimage to the Los Incas Country Club, Lima, Peru, will be hoping that they can conquer all before them and return to Europe having secured an early victory on the 2005 Challenge Tour Schedule.
The Challenge Tour players will go up against one of South America’s finest players in Peru. Carlos Franco of Paraguay is a four time winner on the US PGA Tour, including the 2004 US Bank Championship in Milwaukee, and is currently ranked as the 72nd best player in the world.
He may have won at the top level in America on numerous occasions, but Franco has found the TIM Peru Open an elusive title – he has finished runner up in this event three times.
“It is a title that has escaped me,” Franco smiles, “and it would be great to win, but win or lose, hopefully this week will be one where golf in Peru gains greater world attention. This Los Inkas course is a great test by any standard and truly worthy of the national championship.”
Asked whether his game was sharp enough after an arduous PGA season, Franco said: “I was 4-under in the pro-am and missed a lot of short putts, but the real competition starts at the weekend, so we have a long way to go before I’ll find out how I’m playing.”
Another danger to the Europeans in the field will be the current Challenge Tour Number One, Argentina’s Rafael Gomez, whose sixth place finish in Panama – coupled with his victory at the season opening 47th Abierto Mexicano de Golf – have elevated him to Number One on the Rankings.
Gomez has amassed €42,776 in just two events, and, like so many of his fellow players from the Tour de las Americas have done over the past three seasons, is sure to be making an impression in and around the top 15 come the end of the 2005 Schedule.