Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Callum Macaulay enters this week’s Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic on confident form after a tied third place finish in the Challenge Tour’s season-opener in India in January and the Falkirk-born man will be hoping the windy conditions will once again play into his hands.
Macaulay boldly predicted big things for 2012 prior to the Gujarat Kensville Challenge but his confidence was proven justified after he picked up his highest finish since the 2009 Madeira Islands Open, finishing just two shots shy of Rahil Gangjee and Max Kieffer, who eventually won in India after a play-off.
With a spring in his step, the former Scottish Amateur champion now heads into his second tournament of the season after spending some time in the USA fine-tuning his short game.
“I’m looking forward to it this week,” said the 28 year old. “It’s the second tournament of the year and it’s been a while since India so I can’t wait to get back out playing.
“It was a nice start. Anytime you can be up there with a chance of winning is always good so hopefully that’ll continue and I feel like I’ve been working on the right things. I spent a week on Sea Island in Georgia last week so the preparation’s been good and I feel good and ready to go.”
One of the major talking points ahead of this week’s inaugural Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic is the strong winds at Country Club de Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, but it is something which played into Macaulay's hands in India and he is hoping that it will once more prove the case.
“It’s windy out there,” he said, “I’ve been joking with my Dad recently that every time I’ve played golf of late, I’m telling him it’s the windiest I’ve seen it. I said it in India, then when practicing in Spain and again here and he just started laughing!
“I’m sure I have played in wind like this before but because it’s high up and there are a few tight holes you just have to watch what you’re doing and just get it in play. There’s going to be a huge premium on the short game this week, there are going to be a lot of missed greens, so whoever chips and putts best is going to have a great chance. I’ve been working on that part of my game recently though, so I’m confident.
“Some weeks you can have it flat in the morning and windy in the afternoon but I think it’s all day here so it’s going to be an interesting week given that it’ll be the same for everyone.”
Macaulay is joined this week by six compatriots, including Chris Doak and Raymond Russell, who both occupied tied sixth spot in India, while Lloyd Saltman returns to the Challenge Tour after a disappointing season on The European Tour last year.
Meanwhile, three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty makes his Challenge Tour debut and his first start of 2012 as the Englishman hopes to bounce back from the setback of a disappointing season last year, when he made just one cut in 34 appearances in The Race to Dubai.
Kieffer is one of the favourites this week after the German claimed his maiden Challenge Tour victory at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, while Paul Dwyer and Andreas Hartø also return to action this week high on confidence, having finished alongside Macaulay in tied third.
The Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic is the first co-sanctioned tournament between the Challenge and Pacific Colombia Tours and carries a prize fund of $250,000.
It will be the first time the Challenge Tour has visited Country Club de Barranquilla, a challenging golf course set on the outskirts of the city of Barranquilla and adjacent to the picturesque estuary where the River Magdalena meets the Caribbean Sea.

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