A new European Challenge Tour season means a fresh slate for those chasing a life-changing European Tour card via the Road to Mallorca Rankings. Ahead of the season-opening Limpopo Championship this week, we present the players you need to watch out for in 2020.
Seven 2019 Challenge Tour winners return to action this season looking to translate last year’s victories into more silverware. Of the group, José-Filipe Lima came closest to regaining his European Tour card, finishing 20th on the Rankings. Emilio Cuartero Blanco, Rhys Enoch, Steven Tiley and Eirik Tage Johansen also secured maiden wins last year and will look to build on that momentum when the season gets started in South Africa, while Daan Huizing and Ross McGowen also return to Challenge Tour action.
Ben Stow may not have stepped into the winner’s circle in 2019, but the Englishman put together a highly consistent season, ending just two spots outside the promotion places thanks to seven top ten finishing. Alongside Ewen Ferguson and Bryce Easton, who were also regular contenders last season, Stow is sure to be one to keep a close eye on.
Plenty of new faces will be starting their maiden Challenge Tour season in South Africa this week, including those who secured their card after earning promotion from Europe’s leading satellite tours. Among those to watch out for is Christian Sahlström, who won four times on the Nordic Golf League in 2019, three-time Alps Tour winner Frederic Lacroix and Italian Edoardo Lipparelli, who maintained a stroke average of 68.87 on course to winning the Alps Tour Order of Merit by over 7,000 points from his nearest rival.
European Tour Qualifying School is always guaranteed to provide both euphoria and heartbreak, and the 2019 edition was no different. For five 2020 Challenge Tour members, Jarryd Felton, Tom Gandy, Hurly Long, Wilco Nienaber and Daniel Young, the 108-hole contest provided a little bit of everything, with the up-and-coming stars missing out on their European Tour cards by a single shot. However, the quartet have all booked a maiden season on the Challenge Tour and will be looking to redress their near-miss by securing their European Tour card via the Road to Mallorca Rankings come the end of the season.