Frenchman Victor Riu is hoping for a late-season surge into the top 20 of the Challenge Tour Rankings and has targeted a strong week on home soil in this week’s Allianz Golf Open de Lyon.
The 26 year old lies 37th as he heads to Golf du Gouverneur, having risen four spots thanks to a tied seventh place finish in the Fred Olsen Challenge de España last week, and he needs some strong performances in the last three events of the season to secure a European Tour card for 2012.
Riu has already shown he can cut it on the main stage, coming tied seventh in the South African Open Championship last December, but he has only had two other top tens on the Challenge Tour this season – at the English Challenge and the Acaya Open - and knows he needs more consistency.
“It has been a bit of everything this season really, some good weeks and then some not so good,” he said. “I played well in the English Challenge to finish second and also finished in the top five in Italy but elsewhere there have been a few too many missed cuts which is why I am where I am on the Rankings.
“However, I have improved my Rankings over the past two years, having been 80th in 2009 and 32nd in 2010, so obviously the goal is to try and push on and improve that this year and finish in the top 20 to gain my card for The European Tour. It will not be easy but hopefully a good week in Lyon will help.”
Riu is wary of the threat the 7,061 yard, par 71 Golf du Gouverneur course poses, however, and stressed the importance of accuracy off the tee.
“I do like the golf course there and I played well last year with two rounds of 67 and two rounds of 70,” he added. “It is the kind of golf course that suits my eye but the key there is to drive the ball well.
“It depends on how high they decide to make the rough this year of course as to how difficult it will be, but, nevertheless, it is a course that you need to keep the ball on the fairway to be able to score.”
The pressure is building as players look to cement their position in the top 20 in the Rankings, and Englishman Sam Little, currently second, will be hoping for a strong performance to overtake leader Tommy Fleetwood, who is taking a week off after finishing tied fifth in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week. Sam Walker is the man currently occupying 20th place.
The French contingent are well represented in Lyon, and Edouard Dubois, currently ninth in the Rankings, is going after his third victory of the season following wins in the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda and the Scottish Hydro Challenge.