Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Challenge Tour resumes with
Kenya Open tomorrow

European Tour Media Staff
An accomplished list of former winners will serve as inspiration for a strong field when the European Challenge Tour resumes its schedule with the Tusker Kenya Open, at Karen Country Club, which begins tomorrow.
After a three-month break, the Challenge Tour, now in its 20th year, arrives in Nairobi for the 16th edition of the Tusker Kenya Open, making it the second oldest event currently on the Schedule.
A roll call of past Kenya Open champions emphasises the increasing strength of both the Challenge Tour and the tournament itself:
1998 winner Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina, who finished in a tie for sixth at the recent Dubai Desert Classic.
1999 winner Maarten Lafeber of Holland, who finished tied sixth at the inaugural EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters last month.
Three-time European Tour winner Trevor Immelman of South Africa, who claimed the title in 2000.
Champion in 2005 Daniel Vancsik of Argentina, who won the 2007 Madeira Islands Open BPI.
The quartet subsequently graduated to the European Tour, as did last year’s winner Edoardo Molinari.
Hoping to follow in the Italian’s footsteps is Miguel Rodriguez, currently second in the Rankings and winner of the opening tournament of the season, the Abierto del Litoral Personal 2007. The Argentine will be seeking to reclaim the No. 1 spot from Paraguay’s Marco Ruiz, who currently leads the way by €4,345.
But Rodriguez and his co-competitors, which include Sweden’s Joakim Haeggman, might find low scores hard to come by at Karen Country Club, as its 6,951 yards, par-70 course presents a challenging test. The lowest winning total is 10-under-par 270, posted by Sweden’s Johan Axgren in 2006 and Zimbabwe’s Marc Cayeux in 2004.



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