The Challenge Tour returns to Abu Dhabi

In the field are the top ten players from the Road To Mallorca rankings, including the seven season winners

by Andrea Gussoni
The Challenge Tour returns to Abu Dhabi
© Getty Images Sport - Warren Little / Staff

The Challenge Tour returns to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for the second consecutive tournament with the UAE Challenge (April 25-28), taking place at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by Gary Player. Four Italians are competing: Gregorio De Leo, Aron Zemmer, and Pietro Bovari, who were present last week at the Abu Dhabi Challenge, along with Stefano Mazzoli, who participated in an event on the Asian Tour (Saudi Open) in Saudi Arabia.

Challenge, results

In the field are the top ten players from the Road To Mallorca rankings, including the seven season winners: Danish player Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen, currently leading the standings, Swedish players Mikael Lindberg (no.

3) and Bjorn Akesson (no. 8), Welsh player Rhys Enoch (no. 5), French player David Ravetto (no. 6), and English players John Parry (no. 4) and Garrick Porteous (no. 7), who won the Abu Dhabi Challenge. Rounding out the top ten are English player Sam Hutsby (no.

9), French player Martin Couvra (no. 10), and his compatriot Alexander Lexi, the runner-up behind Porteous, determined to return to the DP World Tour where he has played for years, securing five titles, and who, thanks to three consecutive top-seven finishes, has climbed to second place.

Also teeing off are other competitors with experience on the main circuit, such as English players David Horsey (with four victories) and Chris Wood (with three), Spanish players Alvaro Quiros (with seven victories) and Alejandro Cañizares (with two), and French player Gary Stal, whose only DP World Tour victory came at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in 2015, held at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

However, they don't seem to be in the same form as Levy. Among other potential contenders are American player John Catlin, who recently won the Saudi Open and leads the Asian Tour money list, English player Chris Paisley, Danish player Nicolai Kristensen, Finnish player Tapio Pulkkanen, Northern Irish player Jonathan Caldwell, Scottish player Euan Walker, South African players Daniel Van Tonder and Oliver Bekker, and Australian player Hayden Hopewell.

Local athlete Joshua Grenville-Wood, who performed well at the Delhi Challenge (2nd) and the Ras Al Khaimah Championship (9th), is also expected to compete. Currently, the performance of De Leo, Zemmer, and Bovari has been rather inconsistent, while Mazzoli is making his seasonal debut on the tour after earning his card through the Qualifying School on the Asian Tour, participating in five events with decent results in the first three and missing the cut in the other two. The prize money is $300,000 (approximately €275,000).

Challenge Tour