The European Challenge Tour is set for its thrilling climax at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, where the best 45 players of the season are preparing for one final push in their bids to win one of the 20 available places on The 2008 European Tour.
From current Number One Ross McGowan of England to the last man in the field, 45th placed Inder van Weerelt of The Netherlands; every player teeing up at the glorious San Domenico Golf on Italy’s south east coast is eyeing a glorious end to what has been a quite thrilling season on the Challenge Tour.
With eight double winners, the emergence of some of Europe’s most gifted young players and the return to form of former European Tour champions, the 2007 Challenge Tour season has been quite spectacular.
The strength in depth of the Challenge Tour makes every tournament a fascinating contest. Add to that a prize fund of €250,000 between 45 players, and the pressure-cooker atmosphere of playing for a dream ticket to The European Tour and you have an idea of the importance of the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final to the players.
Every single player in the field can win one of the 20 European Tour cards by taking the first prize of €42,800, while every man in the current top five can win the Rankings outright if they can take first place in Italy and other results go their way.
There are so many possibilities and permutations involving the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, but the bottom line for every player in the field is simple: Win this week and you will be a European Tour player next season.
That simple fact will inspire some players to greatness, while others will come up short, as the pressure of a full year’s work comes down to four days that showcase the full range of human emotions.
Come Saturday evening at San Domenico Golf, 20 of the 45 man field will experience the ultimate reward of a place on The European Tour after a season that has taken them to Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe in their quest to secure a dream ticket to golf’s grandest stage.
For those who make it, the mix of relief, joy and excitement will be in direct contrast to the despairing low that attaches itself to the players who just miss out on the top 20.