The European Challenge Tour will see some of its most popular events — the Prague Golf Challenge and the D+D REAL Czech Challenge — return, as well as another tournament in neighbouring Slovakia restored after a two-year hiatus.
Occupying a new place on the Challenge Tour International Schedule, the Prague Golf Challenge will move from its traditional date in early July, to a new spot earlier in the season.
Now running from May 9-12, the Prague Golf Challenge will return to host venue Prague City Golf as the third event to count towards the 2019 season-long points race.
The tournament was first won by England’s Garrick Porteous in 2017 and in 2018 the trophy was lifted by Ben Stow, also an Englishman, after a thrilling final round 65 handed him a one-shot victory over Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach.
Porteous, Stow and Girrbach will all likely be in the field this year as they hope to recapture the form that led to such strong performances.
The Challenge Tour will then, for the first time in its history, host consecutive events in the Czech Republic, when the D+D REAL Czech Challenge tees off at Kaskáda Golf Resort from May 23-26.
This will be the eighth straight running of the event, but Kaskáda Golf Resort will play host for the first time, as the tournament moves from its previous location, Golf & Spa Kunĕticá Hora, which had hosted every edition since its inception in 2012.
Last year, Korean Minkyu Kim lifted the D+D REAL Czech Challenge trophy at the ripe age of 17 years and 64 days to become the youngest winner of any European Tour-operated event, surpassing Matteo Manassero’s record of 17 years and 188 days.
Kim, who will have only just turned 18, also returns to defend his title as a strong golfing month in the Czech Republic draws to a close.
A little over a month later, the Challenge Tour will return to nearby Slovakia, for the Slovakia Challenge, which was first played in 2014, and will be contested once again on the Jack Nicklaus-designed Penati Golf Resort in Senica, Slovakia, after a two-year hiatus for the event.
Spain’s Borja Virto won at Penati in 2015 and he will be eager to put that knowledge to the test when he, and the rest of Europe’s top developmental tour, contest the ninth event to count towards the rankings.
The 15th hole at Penati Golf Resort famously features a 783-yard par six, which will surely provide extra excitement when the tournament runs from July 4-7.