The European Challenge Tour reaches its final destination for the last two events of a thrilling season this week, with Peter Whiteford looking to complete a stunning run of form with his own version of the ‘Italian Job’.
Starting with this week’s €140,000 Toscana Open Italian Federation Cup at the beautiful Arnold Palmer designed Le Pavoniere Golf and Country Club, Whiteford is aiming to break into the top ten of the Challenge Tour Rankings having made magnificent strides with two victories in his past three events.
The Scotsman was struggling to break into the all important top 20 just three weeks ago, lying 60th on the Rankings and considering giving up the game due to financial constraints, but his rousing performances at The Dutch Futures and then the doc Salbe PGA European Challenge, each success worth €22,400, have pushed the 27 year old to 13th on the Rankings going into the final two events of the season.
“It’s been an unbelievable three weeks,” said Whiteford. “Considering I was thinking about quitting the game before I won in Holland it’s been an amazing turnaround for me.
“But, such is the nature of this game, I now want more and more. I’m 13th on the Rankings and I now want to get into the top ten because that will give me more opportunities on The European Tour next year. That’s what it’s all about and you can’t help but get greedy with the more success you have.
“Four weeks ago if someone had offered me the last card from the Challenge Tour I would have probably taken it, but now I want to get into that top ten. I think I can do it – I am playing well and my confidence is up, which has probably been my biggest enemy over the last few seasons.”
While Whiteford and the rest of the current top 20 fight to defend their Rankings positions at Le Pavoniere Golf and Country Club, the players behind them are looking for the one big week to either break into the top 20, or the top 45 that would guarantee a spot at the season ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final.
It is there that the elite 45 players in the field do battle for a €250,000 prize fund that offers every man who makes it to the last event of the season the chance to win a place on The 2008 European Tour.
Before the guaranteed drama of the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in Apulia, there are four vital rounds of golf to be played at Le Pavoniere Golf and Country Club as the Challenge Tour Members jostle for position at the top of the Rankings.