As dawn broke over San Domenico Golf in southern Italy, claps of thunder and lightning broke out before the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, a fittingly dramatic beginning to a day that will make or break the season of many Challenge Tour stars.
This is what it all comes down to - €330,000 on offer at the Challenge Tour’s final event, but more importantly, 20 golden tickets to The European Tour’s Race to Dubai.Some are assured of their path to the big time in 2013 after impressive seasons on the long and winding road, which has taken the Challenge Tour from India, to Colombia, Kenya, Russia, Kazakhstan and to all corners of Europe.
The title of Challenge Tour Number One is still up for grabs, and Joachim B Hansen would assume the throne if he were to consolidate his place at the top of the leaderboard, provided Kristoffer Broberg or Gary Lockerbie do not claim second spot outright.Further down the list, it is extremely tight around the bubble of 21st place with Chris Lloyd, Eduardo de la Riva and Peter Uihlein all putting themselves within touching distance.
Another battle taking place is the race for the top 11, who receive a more favourable category for The European Tour next year, and Espen Kofstad has put himself in contention of sealing a place as he enters the final day in Italy second, two shots behind Hansen.
For some, there may be heartbreak, and Daniel Vancsik, who has experienced glory on The European Tour, needs a stunning final day if he is to retain his place in the top 21 after a disappointing third round, while Phil Archer is also in danger of slipping out of contention.
Keep up to date with all going on at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final today on our live Tournament Tracker.