A slice of the action from Toulouse

9/19/2012 5:41:16 PM
Bernd Wiesberger with Toulouse Trophy ()
Bernd Wiesberger with Toulouse Trophy ()

Our man on the ground in Toulouse takes you behind the scenes of the Allianz Open de Toulouse Metropole…

Past champions form roll of honour 

After the eastern odyssey, the Challenge Tour returns to European soil for this week’s tenth staging of the ALLIANZ Golf Open Toulouse Metropole. The recent roll call of champions is particularly impressive, with four of the past five winners all having gone on to enjoy success on The European Tour. Joost Luiten got the ball rolling in 2007, and the Dutchman was subsequently joined in the winners’ enclosure by Scotland’s Richie Ramsay (2008), England’s John Parry (2009) and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (2010), a two-time winner on the top tier this term. Thus, whoever succeeds Sam Little as champion will hope the trend continues if they get their chance on The European Tour next season…

Strength in depth

With there being no European Tour event this week, an extremely strong field has assembled in Toulouse, including Oliver Wilson and new Daddy Nick Dougherty. The three-time European Tour champion was understandably reluctant to drag himself away from young son Maximilian and wife Di so soon after she gave birth to their first child, but with 14 places and over €10,000 currently separating him from compatriot Phil Archer in 20th place in the Rankings, it was a case of ‘needs must’. Wilson’s need is even greater, with the former Ryder Cup player currently outside the top 40. But a first Challenge Tour victory for either man this week could soothe their worries in one fell swoop…       

A very happy Allianz

This week’s tournament is the second of three Allianz-sponsored events on this season’s Challenge Tour Schedule. Allianz, one of Europe’s largest insurance companies, and the French Federation who govern the Allianz Tour, have long been strong supporters of the Challenge Tour. The company also sponsors Paul McGinley, one of José María Olazábal’s four Vice Captains next week, the Allianz Championship on the US PGA Tour, and in 2009, Allianz entered into a ground-breaking partnership with the St Andrews Links Trust, aimed at strengthening the global profiles of both organisations and protecting the Links’ unique heritage by investing in the restoration of the coastline in St Andrews. For more info, click here

Toulouse tittle tattle

Toulouse is famous for its sausage (or rather saucisson) but, perhaps more importantly, it is also the centre of the European aerospace industry. The city is home to the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system and CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre (CST), which is the largest space centre in Europe. Founded in 1229, its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 97,000 students, is the third largest university campus in France after Paris and Lyon.