The European Challenge Tour will return to Miklagard Golf, in Kløfta, Norway, for the inaugural Viking Challenge from August 17-20, 2017.
After a three-year hiatus, Europe’s top developmental tour will once again land on Norwegian soil, with the Scandinavian tournament becoming the fourth new event in an exciting 2017 schedule now encompassing 27 tournaments in 21 countries.
Norway’s association with the Challenge Tour stems back to 1994, and over the years it has seen some of golf’s brightest young talents grace its fairways – including Brooks Koepka in 2012, Tyrrell Hatton in 2013 and Byeong Hun An in 2014, all now winners on the European Tour.
By the time the 2017 Road to Oman reaches Miklagard Golf, the race for the top 15 will be starting to take shape as Europe’s best up-and-coming golfers compete for places on the European Tour.
One notable Norwegian success story on the Challenge Tour is Espen Kofstad, Norway’s highest-ranked golfer who won the tour’s 2012 Rankings and tasted victory again last year at the D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge, a result that earned him a place representing his country at the Olympic Games.
Now back on the European Tour after an injury-plagued few seasons, Kofstad is delighted to see the Challenge Tour return to his homeland this summer.
“I think it’s really good for the boys to be able to test themselves a little bit,” he said. “It’s been a couple of years since we had a Challenge Tour event, and the Challenge Tour absolutely prepared me for the European Tour.
“It’s nice for all the guys that are playing on the Nordic Golf League to get a chance to see where their game is at and what they might need to improve to get to that level, because we don’t really have that many guys on the Challenge Tour right now – hopefully this can help more Norwegian golfers get there.”
The Viking Challenge will complete a ‘Scandinavian Swing’ on the Challenge Tour in 2017, with a trip to Denmark in June followed by back-to-back events in Sweden and Finland in July and August – Europe’s top developmental tour will then arrive in Norway two weeks later.
The picturesque Miklagard Golf previously hosted Challenge Tour events in 2007 and 2014 and is regularly ranked Norway’s best golf course, so it is sure to provide a stern examination of all players in August.
Miklagard Golf (credit David Craig)
Alain de Soultrait, Challenge Tour Director, said: “We are delighted to confirm that we will be returning to Norway for this important tournament.
“Having seen the likes of 2012 Challenge Tour Number One Espen Kofstad thrive and flourish on our tour, we are aware of the golfing talent this country has to offer.
“Over the years the Norwegians have proved that they are fantastic hosts, and we are thrilled to be going back to the beautiful Miklagard Golf for what promises to be a memorable week.”
“We are delighted to host the Challenge Tour here at Miklagard,” said Tore Waagø, General Manager of Miklagard Golf.
“The Viking Challenge will be taking place on real Viking ground and the Viking heritage is a key part of our club, and our town.
“We find it extremely important to have high quality, international golf tournaments here in Norway. We are looking forward to working together with the Challenge Tour for the next four years to develop this event, and to help Norwegian golf grow and get better.
“The Vikings were brutal. We want to bring our Viking heritage to the European golf scene. The Viking Challenge will be as tough and fair as it can be – and we are looking forward to welcoming players from all over the world to a real Viking battle here at Miklagard.”