The European Challenge Tour is set to write golfing history this week with a journey to the Republic of Kazakhstan for the first professional golf tournament in the country’s history, the Kazakhstan Open, to be played at the Nurtau Golf Club, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Nurtau Golf Club was opened by seven time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, who played with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazabraev on his visit to the country in 2003.
The Kazakhstan Open will carry a prize fund of €250,000 and is symbolic of the 2005 Schedule, representing the pioneering spirit of the Challenge Tour and its policy of breaking new ground and taking the game of golf to as many countries as possible throughout the world.
While every player who tees up at the Nurtau Golf Club will be playing their part in an historical event, those players near the top end pf the Challenge Tour Rankings can pen a new and glorious chapter in their own personal histories with victory in the former Soviet state this week.
With just four events remaining on the Challenge Tour Schedule, every single Challenge Tour Member can still break into the top 20 on the Rankings and make the potentially life changing breakthrough to The European Tour.
Players at the top end of the Rankings are now looking for that one good finish to consolidate their positions, while those on the outside looking in can emerge as frontrunners with an all important victory.
Such are the rewards in three out of the remaining four tournaments on the Schedule (the €250,000 Kazakhstan Open, the €400,000 Abama Open de Canarias and the €250,000 San Domenico Apulia Grand Final) that a number of players outside the top 20 on the Rankings can still stage a dramatic comeback by winning a top prize and finishing strongly.
The rewards of graduating the Challenge Tour are typified by players like Denmark’s Thomas Björn, Frenchman Thomas Levet, Englishman Ian Poulter and Costantino Rocca of Italy, who all served their golfing apprenticeships on the Challenge Tour before stepping up to The European Tour.
Fame and fortune awaits those can take that all important step and continue to progress at the top level, and some of those stars of the future may well be featuring in Kazakhstan this week.