A strong field of 144 players from 26 nations will assemble for the third edition of the Club Colombia Masters presented by Samsung, which gets underway this week at Country Club de Bogotá in Bogotá, Colombia.
This year the event, which is again co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour and the Tour de las Americas, boasts an increased prize fund of US$200,000.
Headlining the field is Italian Edoardo Molinari, who will bid to secure his second victory on Colombian soil, having won the inaugural event two years ago.
The 28 year old said: “This is one of the top events of the Challenge Tour season. Besides the great organisation and golf course, Colombia is a great country to come and visit for a week. I hold great memories of the place, and hopefully I’ll be able to play well here again.”
Bidding to deny Molinari a repeat victory are a group of 30 players who have triumphed on the Tour de las Americas and the Challenge Tour.
They include Argentina’s Cesar Monasterio, who won the dual-ranking Aa St Omer Open in 2006; and Sweden’s Peter Gustafsson, who claimed the XXVI Abierto Internacional de Golf Copa Antiquia on the Tour de las Americas last weekend.
Of the home contingent one name who stands out is Manuel Villegas, the younger brother of European Tour member Camilo, who climbed to seventh place in the Official World Golf Ranking this week.
TLA Commissioner Henrique Lavie said: “Camilo opened the door for a lot of young players, and turned Colombia into a leading nation in the world of golf. Because of its great courses and players, its solid organisation and sponsors, golf in this country now has a great opportunity to grow. This week’s Club Colombia Masters presentado por Samsung is a great example of what can be done here.”
Promoter Germán Calle Jr said: “With the Country Club de Bogotá and the Government both supporting us, we have proved to the world that our country is a great venue for events of this calibre. Even more importantly, we have been able to show that Colombia is a beautiful place, quite different to what people may sometimes see on the news.”