Friday, 19 March 2010

Raphael De Sousa will hope home advantage can help him finally secure his maiden European Challenge Tour victory at the Credit Suisse Challenge this week after a series of narrow misses so far this season.

De Sousa has enjoyed his best season to date in three years on the Challenge Tour, finishing runner up on two occasions and was in tied second place going into the final round of the AGF-Allianz EurOpen de Lyon last week before eventually finishing tied fifth behind winner David Horsey.

The 25 year old is one of 17 Swiss players in a strong field and he knows he is capable of shooting a low score at the Wylihof Golf Club in Luterbach, where he once held the course record.

He said: “It would be nice to get for my win in my home country, definitely. It is a course that I know well. I have got good memories there. I set a course record of eight under par when I was an amateur in 2003. I know I can shoot low there.

“It’s going to be a tough week. You still have to hit fairways as there is high rough but it also a course where you can make a lot of birdies on the par fives. I am going to go out there and try to give myself a chance of the win.

“I know the course very well and I will have my game plan suited for it. If I can play the way I have been I will have a chance. It would mean a lot for me to win in my home country.

“I haven’t really done anything in the last three years and this year I am playing better. It would mean a lot to win. I haven’t won other than on the Swiss Tour. So it would mean a lot because it’s the Challenge Tour and if I could get my first win in my own country it would be a special occasion.”

Like de Sousa, Scotland’s Andrew McArthur will head to Luterbach with some previous form at Wylihof Golf Club, having lost by one stroke to former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker at last year’s tournament.

McArthur, who will be chasing his second victory of the season following his maiden win at the Reale Challenge de España in Madrid, shot an astonishing eight birdies on his final round front nine last year to reach the turn in 28 strokes.

Former Challenge Tour Rankings leader Seve Benson, of England, also returns to action looking to return to the summit having seen Horsey overtake him with victory in France.

Another Englishman, Gary Clark, heads to Switzerland looking for his second victory of the season after tying for seventh behind Horsey in France last week.

It is the Challenge Tour’s first of two visits to Switzerland in two months, with the Trophée du Golf Club de Genéve to follow in August at the Golf Club de Genéve.


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