The second edition of the M2M Russian Challenge Cup will carry a prize fund of €250,000, a €75,000 increase on last year’s inaugural event.
The increase sees the tournament become the third most lucrative regular Challenge Tour event behind the €400,000 Kazakhstan Open, played in the preceding week, and the season-ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, which boasts a prize fund of €330,000.
With just five events left after the M2M Russian Challenge Cup, the tournament will play a big part in determining who finishes in the all-important top 20 come the end of the season.
The event will return to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, on the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow, from September 15-18, 2011.
The testing 7,491 yards (6,849 metres), par 72 layout drew widespread praise from the Challenge Tour membership when it made its debut last season, most notably from champion Carlos del Moral of Spain, who labelled it “the most beautiful course I’ve ever played”.
On a thrilling final day del Moral prevailed by one stroke from the English duo of Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Ford and Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, who has made such an impression during his debut campaign on The European Tour this year.
Andrey Vdovin, Chairman of the Board, M2M Private Bank, said: “Following the huge success of the first edition of the M2M Russian Cup, we have decided to increase the prize money for this year’s event by €75,000 to €250,000. Through this increase, we want to establish our event amongst the strongest on the Challenge Tour Schedule. Our aim for the future is to become the biggest and best event on the Challenge Tour, and we believe that the significant increase in this year’s prize fund is the first step in that direction.”
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, said: “This significant increase in prize money is a real statement of intent by the sponsors and promoters of the M2M Russian Challenge Cup, and we should thank M2M Private Bank for their generosity. I know that our Members were already looking forward to returning to the magnificent Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club to compete in the tournament, and I’m sure they will be even more excited now after hearing of the news that they will be playing for a bigger prize fund.”