The European and Challenge Tours come together for the fourth and final dual ranking event of the 2005 Schedule at the Abama Open de Canarias this week, where the potential for dramatic glory and agonising heartbreak is there for all to see at this most crucial stage of the season.
Many of The European Tour’s leading players will be jostling for places in the end of season Volvo Masters, while others are fighting for their place in the top 115 on The European Tour Order of Merit.
For the Challenge Tour professionals, this week represents the opportunity to secure a place in the all important top 20 on the Rankings given the sizeable prize fund on offer to those players currently trying to make their way onto golf’s biggest stage.
For those outside the top 60 on the Order of Merit and therefore currently ineligible for the Volvo Masters, the Abama Open de Canarias will be the penultimate event of the season, as it is for the Challenge Tour with just two weeks to go before the end of season Apulia San Domenico Grand Final.
As Challenge Tour graduates from last season, England’s Philip Archer and Scotsman David Drysdale both know the significance of the dual ranking events. Both men are also in the uncomfortable position of still having to secure their playing rights for The 2006 European Tour.
At 112th on the Order of Merit, Drysdale needs just a few more Euros to be sure of his place in the top 115, while Archer – currently 118th – knows that he has to produce a gusty performance to secure his Tour status next season.
Located in the unique setting of Guía de Isora, Abama resides on a spectacular estate atop a smooth hillside of the Teide, the highest mountain on Spanish soil.
With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by hundred year old palms, Abama, part of the Tropical Hotels Group, includes a luxury 5 star hotel, a conference and congress centre, tennis club, restaurants and bars, beach club, exclusive Wellness and Spa centre and a par 72 Championship golf course.
Designed by renowned golf course architect Dave Thomas - whose other works include The De Vere Belfry and De Vere Slaley Hall - and Melvin Villaroel, the architect of the Abama complex, the course has many holes which overlook the Atlantic Ocean and island of Gomera.
The European Tour has been a regular visitor to the Canary Islands since the first event in 1988 and the Abama Open de Canarias will be the 20th European Tour event in the Canary Islands.