Posts Tagged ‘Challenge Tour’

Sharvin and McGee amongst hopefuls chasing four Irish Open spots at Rosapenna qualifier

June 19, 2018

Challenge Tour regulars, Cormac Sharvin and Ruaidhri McGee have signed up to play in the €40,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open qualifier at Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort in Co Donegal on June 30 and July 1.
The 36-hole tournament, administered by the PGA in Ireland, will be played on the demanding Sandy Hills Links.
Four starting places in the $7,000,000 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin Golf Club (July 5-July 8) will be at stake.
The 130 strong field is made up primarily by PGA professionals who will compete alongside six amateurs selected by the GUI and 12 professionals nominated by the European Tour.
Leading lights on the PGA in Ireland circuit, including Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching), Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel & Golf Club), Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), David Higgins (Waterville Links) and Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) will be in action as will reigning Irish PGA champion, Tim Rice (Limerick).
The GUI have nominated Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), Robert Brazill (Naas), Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint), Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas), James Sugrue (Mallow) and Jake Whelan (Newlands) to play.
Sharvin and Ruaidhri McGee have accepted European Tour invites to play along with Colin Crowley, Brian Casey, Stuart Grehan, Conor O’Rourke, Jack Hume, J R Galbraith, David Carey, Rory McNamara, Kevin Phelan and Chris Selfridge.
The Sandy Hills Links at Rosapenna opened in June 2003 and has steadily risen up the various Top 100 listings across the UK & Ireland. It is currently ranked 10th in Ireland by Golf World. Originally laid out by Pat Ruddy and later modified by Beau Welling Design (2013), this modern links is a great test of golf in one of the world’s most beautiful settings.
Competitors will be able to make use of an official practice day on Friday June 29. In the case of a tie for the leading four players, a sudden death play-off will be used.

DDF Irish Open qualifier entries


Will Jonathan Caldwell rise to the Challenge in 2018? Clandeboye golfer ready to go in Turkey

April 25, 2018

Jonathan Caldwell (pic via PGA Europro Tour)

It’s been a long time coming but Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell will finally get his Challenge Tour season underway on Thursday at the Turkish Airlines Challenge in Belek.
Caldwell secured his Challenge Tour card on the final day of the Europro Tour season back in October at the Sky Sports Tour Championship. A 15th place finish in Portugal saw him grab the fifth and final card on offer via the Tour’s Order of Merit.
Since then he’s had precious little competitive golf and he’s ready to get started.
“It’s been a long wait between tournaments but generally I have managed to stay patient and positive,” said Jonny.
“I played in the second stage of European Tour Q-School and narrowly missed out there and then in February, I went to Spain for a couple of weeks to play on the Evolve Tour.
“I managed to get a win over there but it was mostly about finding out what stage my game was at and what I needed to be working on.”
A long wet, cold winter hasn’t been particularly conducive to quality practice but the 33-year-old is determined to make an impact on the Challenge Tour this season.
After a number of years struggling to find his way as a professional, Jonny, a former leading amateur who played Walker Cup alongside Rory McIlroy at Royal County Down in 2007, is finally moving in the right direction again.
With the support of the Clandeboye members and some key sponsors – Wirefox, Woodgate Aviation and the Safety Advice Centre, Bangor – he has been freed from financial worries to focus on golf and has turned his fortunes around on the course over the last 18 months.

“My expectations are high. Hopefully, I will be competing at the top end of the leaderboard,” added Jonny.

“I feel that I have had some decent prep this winter considering the weather we have been dealing with. My game is in reasonably good shape and a couple of days in Turkey will hopefully help sharpen up the short game.

“My number one goal this year is to win and then to finish inside the top 70 which will guarantee my playing privileges for 2019.”
The Turkish Airlines Challenge is the third event of the Challenge Tour season which will include visits to Galgorm Castle for the NI Open in August and Concra Wood in Co.Monaghan for the Irish Challenge in September.
Joining Jonny in Turkey are Cormac Sharvin and Michael Hoey alongside a number of bright young Irish talents in Stuart Grehan, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan and Ruaidhri McGee.

Going low is a new challenge for Michael Hoey

March 25, 2018

Michael Hoey in action at Galgorm Castle

Michael Hoey finished tied for 18th in the opening event of the 2018 Challenge Tour season – the Barclays Kenya Open.
Now in his 16th year as a professional, he remains committed to the sport and engrossed in his job but the harsh realities facing professional golfers on the satellite tours are never far from his mind.

“I’m putting more into it now than I have done in years,” insists the 39-year-old who is fit and healthy after shaking off a lower back problem that hampered him last year.
“I still love the competition but professional golf is difficult and making money at it is the problem.
“The scoring is just so good now. Some weeks on tour the leaders are reaching 25 under which is incredible.”
After turning professional in 2002, Michael struggled to find his feet until finally becoming a fixture on the European Tour from 2009 to 2016.
He collected five wins in that period, the biggest of which was the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2011. He was often inconsistent but when he got into a winning position, he had an uncanny knack of getting the job done.
He dropped down on to the Challenge Tour last year and will once again be plying his trade alongside the young guns in 2018.
“I quite enjoyed most of 2017 but I didn’t enjoy the lack of money,” he added.
“I like the friendly atmosphere around the Challenge Tour. There’s less clutter, fewer managers, agents and reps around.
“You just get to the venue and play golf so it’s quite pure in that regard.

“But it is tough going. You work hard, play well in some events and finish 11th, 12th, 13th and you walk away with €3,000 or €4,000. That just about pays for your expenses and you’ve played pretty well.

“I actually had my lowest ever stroke average last year and I was quite consistent but I just didn’t go low enough when I needed to.”
Michael’s role as tournament ambassador with the NI Open at Galgorm Castle had given him an insight into the low-scoring mind-set on the Challenge Tour but the week-to-week aggressive on-course approach of the players has given him pause for thought.
He continued; “There are so many players around the same mark these days and that is why cuts are so high. You can sometimes have 30 people on the same score. When I started 10, 15 years ago you would have had eight to 10 people on the same score. The cuts are so deep now.
“The standard is just so good. Yes, the courses are pretty straightforward, but it is ridiculously low scoring. It seems that every day someone shots 10 under par so you have got to be able to putt but I guess it is the same for everyone in the field.
“You have to be dialled in with the short irons. Know exactly how far you hit them and then you have to be able to score. Driver accuracy isn’t as important as driver length.
“I have seen so many guys on Challenge Tour hit a really bad tee shot but still walk away with birdie. On the main tour, you will be punished more often.”

As a result, Michael has been working hard on his game, particularly his putting at home. He’s also been hitting the gym with one eye on extending his career.
“I spoke to some of the physio guys at the end of last year about what I needed to do to stay competitive in my late 30s,” added Michael.
“They encouraged me to lift some weights because you need to keep your testosterone levels up especially when you are over 30.”
While he feels that things are in a good place physically and technically, he admits there is still room for improvement in his approach to how he plays the game.
He added; “On a Thursday you have to go for it from the start and be aggressive. Even making the cut is a waste of time because the money is so top heavy. You have to change your thinking and go for it and that is difficult.
“I have always had an attitude about playing my way into a round and finding some rhythm, not taking shots on until you have strung a few pars together.

“Last year, there was only four weeks on tour when the winning total was less than 16 under. How can you possibly play your way into a round by stringing a few pars together? That doesn’t work now.

“I tend to agree with the theory about how growing up on tough links course at home doesn’t help you as a professional. It is a birdie festival now and one under par isn’t a good score anymore. The cut in Turkey was five under last year!”

A more extensive version of this article appeared in Irish Golf Magazine.

Concra Wood grabs opportunity to stage Irish Challenge

March 2, 2018

They’ve always had a can-do attitude at Concra Wood.
It got the course built in the first place and has kept it going through difficult financial times.
So, when club professional Conor McKenna received a phone call in January enquiring if the club would like to stage the Irish Challenge he didn’t give it a moment’s thought.
“I think I considered it for around three seconds before saying yes,” said Conor speaking on the NI Golf Podcast.
“When the Challenge Tour come knocking on your door, you just can’t refuse them.

“The format of the Irish Challenge with the involvement of Team Ireland, CGI etc really fits the bill for us and what is going on at the golf club.”

The stunning 7,300-yard layout in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan was designed by Ireland golfing legends Christy O’Connor Junior and Senior.
Offering lake views from every tee, with Lough Muckno coming into play on 11 of the 18 holes, the spectacular parkland course will host the fourth edition of the Irish Challenge (October 4-7).
The venue is no stranger to championship golf, having hosted the EuroPro Tour between 2012 and 2014, and its par-72 course is set to provide a tough test for some of global golf’s finest young talents later this year.

Homegrown players competing in the Irish Challenge will once again battle it out for the Christy O’Connor Junior Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the highest-ranked Irish player in the tournament.
Alain de Soultrait, European Challenge Tour Director, said: “We are thrilled to confirm that the Irish Challenge will take place at Concra Wood Golf Club. We would like to thank everyone at Concra Wood Golf Club for their support in hosting the Irish Challenge.”
Seamus Mallon, Chairman of Concra Wood Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Irish Challenge. The competitors are in for four days of challenging but very enjoyable golf and we know Concra Wood will provide a stern test.

“To host a Challenge Tour event this year is a great achievement considering our course will celebrate its 10th anniversary in July. We have many celebrations and events planned for this year but this certainly is the icing on the cake!”

Pat Finn, CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland, said: “This tournament is a crucial part of the High Performance Programme run by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.
“Thanks to Sport Ireland’s support, the players from Team Ireland Golf are provided with vital tournament exposure and playing opportunities, not just at their home event but across the Challenge Tour season.
“I’m sure we’ll see in October four days of excellent golf and it’s a chance for golf fans to come and support Ireland’s most talented players on home soil.”

Relieved Caldwell earns 2018 Challenge Tour spot

October 26, 2017

The highlight of Jonny Caldwell’s PGA Europro Tour season was winning the Cobra Puma Golf Championship at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club

Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell will be playing on the Challenge Tour next season after claiming the fifth and final card on offer via the PGA Europro Tour Order of Merit.
The 33-year-old finished 15th in the last event of the season, the PGA EuroPro Tour Sky Sports Tour Championship at Amendoeria Golf Resort in Portugal.
“I am absolutely delighted after just missing out last year by slipping out of the top five at the Tour Championship,” said Caldwell who represented GB&I alongside Rory McIlroy at the Walker Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down.
“I’m delighted to get the job just about done. I tried to focus on my golf because there were so many guys in contention, all I could do was focus on myself. The support for me has been fantastic, I’ve had a solid year and I feel I’m ready to take it a step further onto the Challenge Tour.”
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy finished fifth in Portugal which was good enough for eighth place on the Order of Merit. Niall Kearney ended the tournament in a tie for third, finishing the season 11th in the rankings.
The tournament was won by Englishman Adam Chapman who fired a final round 71 to win by three shots. The winning cheque of £22,540 saw Chapman jump from 54th in the rankings into third place and secured him a place in Challenge Tour next season.

NI Open Day two – Murray and Kellett lead way

August 12, 2017

Tom Murray

One cut down, another one to come at this year’s Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf.
After two days of jockeying for position, the tournament steps up a notch on Saturday with players bidding to finish inside the top 24 and earn a place in Shootout Sunday.
The two-round cut fell at level par on Friday with the magic mark to reach Shootout Sunday hovering around three under.
Ardglass golfer Cormac Sharvin, who finished the day on two under par alongside Irish players Damien McGrane, Simon Thornton and Neil O’Briain was considering a more aggressive approach on Saturday.
“I’m in a pretty good position to get into the last 24. I need one more good round tomorrow,” said Cormac.

“The second cut is around four under at the minute so it’s probably going to go to six.I probably need three or four under par at least tomorrow but you can’t get too aggressive around here.

“I need to be smart, take on flags when they are there but stay away from some tee shots when there is a bit of trouble around.”
Englishman Tom Murray and Scotland’s Ross Kellett lead the way on eight under par, with Austrian Lukas Nemecz a shot further back.
Murray knows how to win on Irish soil, his sole Challenge Tour victory to date came two years ago at the Irish Challenge in Co Carlow, and he is looking forward to the weekend’s contest.
“I don’t know what it is about Ireland but whether it’s south of the border or here up north, it seems to bring out the best in me,” said the 27-year-old.
“The course set up here is probably the best of the year and it feels like a European Tour event, so that helps boost everything, and everything around the event is so good. I’m playing well and putting well, the greens are perfect, so it’s so far so good.
“I was talking to Dominic Foos today on the course about the Shootout Sunday and we were saying how it’s hard, because at the moment it’s just playing like a normal tournament, so we don’t know what to expect really.

“You’ve just got to approach tomorrow how you normally would and go and try to win the tournament, all the boring stuff, shot by shot, then see where we are come Sunday and see what happens.”her back on seven under.”

A total of 73 players made it through to Saturday’s third round with just eight shots separating first from last. Amongst them was tournament ambassador Michael Hoey who had fully expected to miss the cut after following his opening round 69 with a 72 to finish on one under par.
“My game is not far away but it’s just not quite there. It was the same yesterday. I just left a few shots out there,” said Michael.
“The swing is good but I’m just not dialled in enough.”
Play gets underway this morning at 8.30am with the leaders going out at 10.30am.
In the event of a tie for 24th, a sudden death play-off will take place before a draw tomorrow evening to decide the match-play pairings.

Dermot McElroy determined to make the most of Irish Open invite

July 3, 2017

Dermot McElroy

Receiving an invite into the DDF Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation has been compared to finding the golden ticket in Roald Dahl’s famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
As one of the European Tour’s Rolex Series events, this year’s tournament at Portstewart GC has a prize fund of $7,000,000 and a first prize touching €1,000,000.
That’s life-changing money and a golden opportunity for those players who have played their way into the field or happen to be lucky enough to receive an invitation.
In that regard, the finger of fate has pointed in the direction of the vastly experienced Michael Hoey, former BMW PGA Champion, Simon Khan, and three young professionals making their way in the game, Gavin Moynihan, Gary Hurley and Dermot McElroy
Ballymena’s McElroy only turned professional in July last year but he has hit the ground running in 2017.
The 24-year-old is riding high on the Europro Tour order of merit and has made the cut in his last two Challenge Tour appearances (Belgium & Scotland)
McElroy expressed his delight at receiving the ‘call-up’ to play in Portstewart after finishing tied for 33rd at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge
“It was one of the nicest phone calls I have had in a long time,” said Dermot.

“My management company tried every avenue to get me in, so to get that invite was great news. I actually got the ferry over to Scotland and drove up to Aviemore for this week’s event because I thought I would be driving back down to Newcastle to play in a EuroPro tournament next week but now, my plans have changed a bit.”

As an amateur, Dermot played in the Irish Open on three occasions – in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The 2012 event at Royal Portrush remains etched in his memory.
He added; “That was totally different. The crowds, it was like an Open Championship. There was over 100,000 people at Portrush. It was bunged but it was a great experience for me.”
While Dermot is still finding his feet as a professional, his recent performances prove that he is becoming more comfortable playing in the spotlight and he’s excited about getting the chance to compete on a course he has played many times.
He added; “I’m getting used to dealing with cameras and the extra attention you get when you start playing well at an event. It doesn’t really bother me now.
“I also know Portstewart pretty well. I played it a couple of months ago and I noticed some of the new tees they have put in so I’m expecting it to be a good test.
“For me, the week will be about trying to perform as well as I can. Yes, it is a big stage, and there is a lot of money involved, but it is just golf. If I am playing well and am able to play my normal game I don’t see why I can’t do well.”

Long-term wrist injury forces Gareth Maybin to retire

April 27, 2017

Gareth Maybin was flying home from Johannesburg when the prospect of retirement finally became a reality.
The 36-year-old from Ballyclare had grabbed the offer of an invite to play in the Joburg Open [Feb23-26] but hampered by a long-standing wrist injury, he was forced to withdraw without even striking a ball.
“That probably put the nail in the coffin,” said Gareth, who confirmed his decision to retire via social media on Thursday.
“It’s not the end of the world, stuff happens.
“A combination of the wrist not being well and not playing well for a couple of years made it an easy decision in the end.”
A talented amateur, who won the North of Ireland Amateur Championship in 2002, Gareth turned professional in 2005 after completing a degree in sports management at the University of South Alabama.
He made smooth progress through the pro ranks and in 2008 cruised to a Challenge Tour victory at the Qingdao Golf Open in China to secure his place on the European Tour.
Those early years on the European Tour were successful without being spectacular. He lost out to Richard Sterne in a play-off at the South African Open in 2009 and in 2010 he finished second twice at the Ballantine’s Championship and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
The 2010 season was his best on tour, he finished 40th in the rankings and made the cut at the US Open, finishing tied for 63. That was the high point, he battled to retain his card over the next few years and eventually, in 2014 he missed out.
However, he returned to tournament golf in 2015 with renewed appetite planning to mix some European Tour starts with a run of Challenge Tour events but in June, he hurt his wrist playing at the Lyoness Open in Austria and was forced to withdraw.
He knew something wasn’t right but managed to tee it up the following week at the Najeti Open in France but, as it turned out, that was his last appearance for 18 months.
“I tore a tendon, so I went in and had surgery,” said Gareth.
“It was fixed, but it never settled, one of the stitches failed to dissolve so I had to go in again and have that taken out.
“Unfortunately, then it became very inflamed and I had to go back in and get it cleaned out.

“The only way it was going to get better was to have another surgery, break a bone, shorten it and then put a plate and pin in it.

“I’m not willing to have more surgery on the off-chance that it might work.”
Initially it looked like the long hours of rehab had paid off when he played in the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour in mid-February but that was followed by the Joburg withdrawal and then last week, he pulled out after one round of the Turkish Airlines Open.

“At the last couple of tournaments, as much as I tell myself to go through the pain, the hand won’t let me. I flinch at impact and I can’t control what the face is doing,” added Gareth, who has two young children.
“There is disappointment that I finished my career at the top level without a Euro Tour win.
“I played in three majors [US Open 2010 and Open Championship 2010 and 2013] and I finished second three times and that shows that I had the game to compete.
“In many ways being able to compete at that top level was a dream come true.”
Now that he’s hung up the clubs, he is looking around for a new challenge and hopes to stay involved in sport although he’s not so sure about remaining in golf.
“The obvious route would be to do a bit of coaching,” he added.
“I do enjoy watching kids playing and improving but I need to see what comes up now.
“After playing golf for as long as I have it becomes a job, just like anything else.
“I’d love to maybe try a bit of broadcasting at something like the Irish Open.
“Whatever it is, I want it to be fun, something that gets me out of bed in the morning.”

NI Open embraces change and tweaks format to create Shootout Sunday

March 30, 2017

Ryan Fox plays into the 18th on his way to victory at last year’s NI Open (Photo by PressEye)

It’s all change for this year’s NI Open at Galgorm Castle in the shape of a new format and a new presenting sponsor, Modest! Golf.
Now in its fifth year, the NI Open is one of the best-supported events on the Challenge Tour schedule, both in terms of attendances and depth of field.
This year the NI Open has embraced the European Tour’s vision of introducing fresh new ideas and innovation to professional golf with the introduction of Shootout Sunday.
At this year’s event 156 players will tee it up ahead of the traditional 36-hole cut, before a 54-hole cut on Saturday followed by five rounds of six-hole strokeplay matches in what will be a high octane and dramatic #ShootoutSunday.
Note the fact that it is Strokeplay. This tweak sets the event apart from the recent Super 6’s in Perth and ensures that every match will finish on the 18th (see below for full details).
Tournament ambassador Michael Hoey has backed the changes.
“The NI Open comes hot on the heels of the Irish Open and what is being devised here at Galgorm is an exciting new twist which sets it apart from anything we’ve ever had in Northern Ireland,” said Hoey, a five–time European Tour winner, who finished eighth at Galgorm in 2016 behind winner Ryan Fox from New Zealand.

“We have spoken to several players about the change in format, including last year’s winner Ryan, and all agreed that the new format is an extremely exciting new prospect. The NI Open’s unique and innovative strokeplay matches on the Sunday are a first for professional golf and is sure to be a highlight on the global golfing calendar.

Niall Horan and the Modest! team

“The new format is certain to be more entertaining for spectators, especially with holes like the redesigned par three seventh sure to throw up plenty of drama as crowds converge at strategic parts of the course.”
The innovation has also been backed by Mark McDonnell, Director of Modest Golf.
We are delighted to return to the NI Open, this time as Presenting Sponsor. We love working alongside the European Challenge Tour and Galgorm Castle and this year is set to be bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
Fellow Modest! Golf Director Niall Horan commented: “We are excited to be returning to the NI Open and introducing a brand new format. Shootout Sunday will be an exciting concept, both for the players and for spectators.”
The NI Open’s exciting new format offers a new dimension that complements the staging of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart earlier in the holidays.
Interactive and family events will also be on site at Galgorm Castle during the NI Open and one of the province’s sporting highlights will once again have FREE entry for all spectators.

The NI OPEN 2017
Round 1: 156 players begin three rounds of strokeplay
Round 2: 36-hole cut following close of play (Top 60 and ties)
Round 3: 54-hole cut following close of play (Top 24) to include play-off if required
NI Open Shootout Sunday: Five rounds of six-hole strokeplay matches
– The top eight players after 54 holes of strokeplay will receive a bye into the second round of matches and will be seeded.
– The remaining 16 players (positions 9-24) will be randomly paired for the first round matches.
– If there are any ties for 24th position, a sudden-death play-off (18th hole) will determine the qualifiers following the completion of 54 holes.
– The losing quarter-finalists will contest matches to determine positions 5-8 and the losing semi-finalists will contest a match to determine 3-4.
-Any matches level after six holes will be determined by playing the 1st hole (rounds one and two) or a shortened version of the 18th hole (quarter finals, semi-finals and final) as a sudden-death play-off hole.

Injury free Chris Selfridge sets sights on breakthrough Challenge Tour win in 2017

March 22, 2017

Far away from the glitz and glamour of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas the Challenge Tour is finally getting under way in Kenya tomorrow.
Europe’s second-tier is emerging from hibernation and Cormac Sharvin, Michael Hoey, Gary Hurley and Chris Selfridge have been enticed to Nairobi’s Muthaiga Golf Club for the season opener.
Selfridge is eager to get going after his 2016 campaign was wrecked by a niggling wrist problem. A similar injury also put paid to his Euro Tour Q-School ambitions in 2015.
“I tore a ligament in my wrist a few weeks after the NI Open in August,” said the 24-year-old who is embarking on his third season on tour.
“I was out for a few weeks and then I came back for the Kazakhstan Open and it happened again as I was hacking out of the rough. I knew straight away.
“So then I was out for another four weeks, came back to play in the UAE and went to Q-School but I never made it through. By that stage I was healthy, but just too rusty.”
Chris has spent the off-season working with physios at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI) and other experts to strengthen and protect the problem area and early season preparations have been positive.
“I haven’t had any issues while I have been playing and practicing,” he added.
“The last two seasons I have been looking good to make it to the European Tour.
“In 2015 the injury happened at Q-School when I was playing really well. And then last year, right in the middle of the season when I was in the top 30 of the Challenge Tour rankings.

“It is frustrating, but golf is frustrating, there is nothing else for it; you have to get on with it.

“I went to Portugal for a few weeks in January to play some mini-tour golf.
“It was a chance to ‘stress test’ the wrist and it went well, I played some pretty good golf considering I hadn’t played a lot of competitive golf in two and half months.”

In two full seasons on tour Chris had proven himself a consistent performer but that first win is proving elusive. His best finish is a tie for fourth at the Challenge de Madrid last year.
He needs to make that breakthrough and maybe having the experienced Michael Hoey around can help.
Hoey, who lost his full European Tour card last year has four wins at Challenge Tour level, the last of those coming at the Madeira Islands Open in 2011. The 38-year-old recently showed some signs of a return to form by finishing tied for eighth at the Hero India Open.
“We are rooming together in Kenya. He is a good guy to be around,” added Chris.
“I’m looking forward to getting the season started again and I would love to finally get a win.
“I know I am good enough, I have played loads of good golf, it’s just a matter of continuing to work hard, keep doing what I am doing and the results will come.”