As the only Match Play event on the Challenge Tour International Schedule, the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 presents the players with a different challenge and we have picked out three players who could flourish in this format.
Already a winner on the Challenge Tour this season, Scotland’s Connor Syme tees it up sitting pretty in fifth position on the Order of Merit. The Scot won the opening event of the season, the Turkish Airlines Challenge in a play-off against Francesco Laporta, and comes into the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 with experience aplenty. The 23-year-old represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2017 Walker Cup and earned one point towards his team’s total in the Saturday Morning Foursomes. Additionally, Syme won the 2016 Australian Amateur which is played in a similar format to the Match Play 9, showcasing his match play expertise.
Rasmus Højgaard is enjoying a successful opening to his first Challenge Tour season as he currently sits in 14th position on the Order of Merit having secured two top ten finishes in five outings thus far. The Dane turned professional after a successful amateur career which culminated in an appearance for Team Europe at the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup. The 18-year-old earned 2 ½ points for Team Europe, including a 1UP victory over William Moll in the Tuesday Singles, and half a point in the morning foursomes alongside twin brother Nicolai.
Another former Walker Cup player, Matthew Jordan tees it up for the third consecutive week on the Challenge Tour having finished in a tie for tenth at last week’s Hauts de France – Pas de Calais Golf Open. The young Englishman burst onto the scene earlier this year when he finished in a tie for 15th at the Betfred British Masters after setting the course record on the opening day at Hillisde Golf Club with a stunning round of 63. Despite not registering a point towards Great Britain and Ireland’s tally, the Englishman was involved in three tightly fought contests at the 2017 Walker Cup. He lost 2UP in the afternoon singles on Saturday before narrowly being beaten 3&2 alongside Robert MacIntyre in the Sunday morning foursomes. He then lost out to Dough Ghim in the final session on Sunday, losing his singles match on the 16th hole. However, you know what they say; you learn more in defeat than you do in victory.