Challenge, penultimate tournament in 2023


Challenge, penultimate tournament in 2023
Challenge, penultimate tournament in 2023 © Getty Images Sport - Mike Ehrmann / Staff

Lorenzo Scalise, Andrea Pavan, Matteo Manassero, Francesco Laporta and Filippo Celli take part in the Hainan Open (13-16 October), the penultimate seasonal tournament of the Challenge Tour, organized in collaboration with the China Golf Association, which is played on the course of Danzhou Ancient Saltern Golf Club, on Hainan Island in China.

It is the last call to enter the top 45 of the Race To Mallorca (order of merit) who will be admitted to the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final (2-5 November, Mallorca, Spain) where, at the end of the race, the top 20 of the money list will have the 'card' for the DP World Tour 2024.

Challenge Tour, schedule

On Hainan Island there will be great contention on all fronts: close to the 45th position of the Race To Mallorca, around the 20th, but also within the top 20 to remain in the top ten or to move up there.

In fact, those who face the final act in that sector of the ranking will not run the risk of missing out on the tour, with almost similar prospects for those three or four steps below. This explains the presence in the field of 18 among the top 20 in the order of merit where there are Scalise (5th), Pavan (7th), Manassero (8th) and Laporta (19th), who gained six precious positions last Sunday with fifth place in France.

The Azzurri are the most numerous in this bracket together with the English, of which however three are found between 15th and 18th place. He still has a chance to go to Spain Celli (62nd) which is 81 points away from 45th place, but to get there he will probably need a placing no higher than fifth.

With Celli, Laporta will also be particularly motivated, having won the tournament in 2019 and then also established himself in the Challenge Tour Grand Final (obtaining his first two titles of the three on the circuit) and in the money list.

Among the favourites, in addition to the other Italians, the French Ugo Coussaud, number one in the ranking, the Spaniard Manuel Elvira (2nd), the South African Casey Jarvis (3rd) and the Swede Adam Blomme (4th), but also watch out for those who have recently taken steps backwards such as the English Sam Bairstow (21st) and Marco Penge (22nd), the Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia (25th) and the Danish Nicolai Kristensen (28th), protagonist for half the season before an unexpected decline of yield.

Without forgetting those who risk missing the flight to Mallorca, like the French Martin Couvra (44th) and Clément Berardo (45th) or those who hope to get on at the last minute, like the German Marc Hammer (47th), the Transalpines Romain Wattel (49th) and Julien Sale (51st), the English Chris Paisley (50th) and the Swede Christofer Blomstrand (52nd), while the South African Jacques Kruyswijk (46th) and the American Jordan Grumberg (48th) withdrew ).

In the tournament, now in its eighth edition, in addition to Laporta there will be another past winner, the Chinese Zhang Huilin, who scored in 2015. The prize money is 500,000 dollars (around 474,000 euros).

Matteo Manassero Francesco Laporta

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