Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Borja Virto Astudillo (Richard Castka) ()
Borja Virto Astudillo (Richard Castka) ()

Borja Virto is eager to recreate the performance that took him to a second European Challenge Tour title at the 2015 Foshan Open on his return to Foshan Golf Club this week.

The Spaniard secured a debut season on the European Tour after an outstanding showing two years ago, when he fired his way to a two-shot victory after rounds of 64-67-72-70 in southern China.

After a difficult rookie campaign on the 2016 Race to Dubai, Virto returned to the Challenge Tour for this season where he has recorded three top-ten finishes and as a result sits in 52nd place on the Road to Oman.

Knowing he has work to do if he is to seal a return to the European Tour at the first opportunity, Virto is buoyed by the fact he comes back to a course this week where he has many fond memories.

“I have so many good memories here,” he said. “To walk down 18 again was a great feeling and it all came back to me – seeing all the crowds there and having my Dad on the bag with me.

“It was a really important week for me, for my season and my career, so it was really nice to relive that a little bit in practice today.

“The course seems pretty similar to two years ago which is good for me. I remember having a very good first two rounds in 2015, I think I was 13 under after 36 holes, and everything was going well for me – I was just playing good and feeling good.

“The weekend was a bit more intense as there was a lot of pressure, but I still managed to play well and get the job done.

“The greens here are really big and I was very accurate with my irons – I never put myself in trouble and I had opportunities for birdie at most holes.

“I felt good in Hainan last week and managed to finish in the top ten even though I didn’t play as well on Sunday. I was hoping for a little better last week but it was a good start to the final run of events.

“I feel really good coming back here and am hoping that I can have a couple of good finishes and play my way into the Grand Final – after that anything can happen.”

Joining Virto in Foshan is Road to Oman Number One Tapio Pulkkanen who extended his lead at the top of the Rankings to 41,000 points after claiming a share of second place at last week’s Hainan Open.

Leading the home charge this week will be China’s Chen Zihao. The 21 year old, who is attached to Foshan Golf Club, finished tied sixth at his home course last season and will be hoping he can end this week even higher up the leaderboard. 

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