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Stow bidding for fast start in South Africa 

Stow bidding for fast start in South Africa 

Ben Stow is aiming for a winning start to the season as he looks to put the disappointment of narrowly missing out on his European Tour card behind him at the Limpopo Championship from January 30 – February 2, 2020.

Ben Stow

The European Challenge Tour travels to South Africa for the first time in the Tour’s history this week, with the co-sanctioned event providing an early opportunity for the Englishman to throw down the gauntlet to his fellow Challenge Tour members.

Stow finished 17th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2019, two spots outside the graduation places, despite battling injury during the second half of the season.

The 28-year-old has finished in the top 30 in the Rankings for three consecutive years and with 20 European Tour cards available in 2020, up from 15 last year, is confident this can be the year he secures a maiden full season on the European Tour.

“I played consistency all year really,” he said. “I think I only missed a few cuts all season and had several top tens but managed to finish 17th on the Rankings at the end of the year.

“I think it’s really good that the Challenge Tour has 20 cards this season and it’s a move that’s been popular with the players. The Challenge Tour is a really good test of golf and you have to maintain that form over the course of the season, so it seems like a good move.”

With the last three winners of the season-opening event going on to secure their European Tour playing rights at the conclusion of the campaign, Stow recognises the importance of a fast start.

“There is almost a million euros to play for over the next three weeks, so it is important to play well over these opening tournaments in South Africa and start to build some momentum. That’s something I’ve been able to do well over my career. Spending some time in the off-season with my coach and then trying to come out and hit the ground running.

“I’m very excited and I believe I can do very good things.”

The Limpopo Championship is the first of three events in South Africa on the Challenge Tour International Schedule, with the RAM Cape Town Open from February 6-9, and the Dimension Data Pro-Am from February 13-16 forming the first three events of the season.

This week’s action will feature 208 players from the Challenge Tour and Sunshine Tour, bidding for a lion’s share of the USD 250,000 prize fund, with the field playing one round at both Euphoria and Koro Creek before the top 60 and ties make it through to the weekend at Euphoria.

Stow will get his opening round under way at 11.10 am local time at Euphoria, with play beginning at 06:30 am at Koro Creek and Euphoria.

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