The European Challenge Tour returns to the Golf du Soleil in Agadir, Morocco, this week for the Riu Tikida Hotels Moroccan Classic, where Challenge Tour history was created in 2004.
While Englishman Graeme Storm was plotting his way to a final round 65 that would secure him his second victory of 2004 and ensure that he joined The European Tour via the Challenge Tour Rankings, his compatriot, Matthew King, set the lowest nine hole total in Challenge Tour history with an unbelievable back nine of just 27 shots.
Two over par after eight holes King’s brilliant run began with a birdie on the ninth before he embarked on his record breaking back nine with an eagle two at the par four 11th where he holed his five iron approach.
He notched two birdies in a row on the 12th and 13th before a 40 foot putt on the par five 14th handed him another eagle, and he completed his astonishing nine holes with a birdie-birdie-par finish to come home in 27.
With Challenge Tour Number One Rafael Gomez of Argentina electing to take a week off following his victory at the XX Tessali-Metaponto Open di Puglia e Basilicata, the rest of the Challenge Tour Members will be looking to emulate the kind of scoring that King produced on his final day back nine last season to make up some ground on Gomez.
Englishman Richard McEvoy, currently third on the Rankings with €54,991, is the highest ranked player in the Riu Tikida Hotels Moroccan Classic field, and can make up significant ground on Gomez with a victory at the Golf du Soleil.
McEvoy has is no stranger to winning this season, having triumphed at the Panasonic Panama Open, and he will be looking to secure a second victory of the year this week.
After finishing third in Morocco last season, Welshman Sion Bebb is hoping to kick start his 2005 season with another strong showing in North Africa.
The 34 year old’s strong finish at the end of 2004 ensured he would be eligible for the Final Stage of The European Tour Qualifying School, but he is looking to make his move up the Rankings earlier on in the season and believes that another good result at the Golf du Soleil can help him do just that.
“It’s always nice to go back to a course that you have done well on, so I am really looking forward to the tournament this week,” said Bebb. “The tournament was nearer the end of the season last year, so I am hoping that a good result this week can really get the year going for me.
“I tend to be a slow starter to the season and then finish strongly, but I need to get in amongst things a bit earlier in the year, so if I can get another good result in Morocco it would help to kick start the year for me.”