Fresh from the highest finish of his Challenge Tour career to date, Italian Federico Colombo will continue his bid to climb into the top 20 of the Rankings at this week’s inaugural M2M Russian Challenge Cup.
After recovering from the initial disappointment of a closing round of 73 on the final day of last week’s lucrative Kazakhstan Open, which saw him finish in a tie for second place, Colombo was able to reflect on a job well done in Almaty.
The €32,000 he earned took his season’s earnings to €42,097 and saw him climb 77 places in the Challenge Tour Rankings, from 101st to 24th.
Another strong showing at this week’s €175,000 event would see Colombo, who received a consolatory phone call from his friend and practice partner Edoardo Molinari on Sunday night, climb into the all-important 20 for the first time this season, and so within sight of a return to The European Tour.
The Italian lost his playing privileges after a testing rookie season on the top tier last term, but a string of impressive results in recent weeks has restored both belief and confidence ahead of his visit to Moscow.
He said: “Even though I was obviously disappointed with how I played on the Sunday, it was still a really good week. I got a little bit tense on the final day, because it was difficult to stay calm with so much prize money at stake. But one of my goals at the start of the week was to play well enough to skip the Second Stage of Qualifying School, and hopefully I’ve achieved that now. It’s a shame I couldn’t have picked up one more shot because runner-up on my own would have made a big difference, but I still made a huge jump up the Rankings.
“If I can have another good week in Russia, hopefully I can climb into the top 20 and get my main Tour card back. If I do manage to get back onto the Tour, I’m sure I will cope much better. I was a little bit inexperienced last season and I think that showed, because experience counts for so much. You have to be a really good player, but you also need that experience. I played with some guys who have been on the Tour for ten years or more, and even when they’re not playing that well, they still manage to get it around. So I’m sure that when I get back out there, I’ll be much more competitive.”