The 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour season comes to an end at Woburn next week as the seasonâ€™s top players battle to secure one of the final three Challenge Tour cards for 2013.
Stuart Manley and Duncan Stewart lead the Order of Merit and have already secured their place on next seasonâ€™s Challenge Tour but with a Â£60,000 total Tour Championship prize fund and Â£15,000 going to the winner, the Order of Merit is likely to see some major movement next week.
Only the final top five will move up to European golfâ€™s second tier. Paul Maddy, Paul Reed and Wallace Booth currently occupy third, fourth and fifth place respectively but a tight season which has seen 13 different winners in the 14 events so far means that anybody from 59th place Matthew Evans could jump into the top five by the end of Tour Championship.
The event will be played over the Marquessâ€™ Course, which is often referred to as the â€˜jewel in the crownâ€™ at Woburn.
James Busby secured his Challenge Tour card by winning last seasonâ€™s Tour Championship and a second place finish at Challenge Tour Grand Final last month saw him move up to the European Tour for the 2013 season.
â€œIn the two previous years I had been going into the EuroPro Tour Championship in the top five but I managed to blow up on both occasions so I definitely had pressure on me going into last seasonâ€™s Tour Championship,â€ said Busby. â€œThe advice I would give would be to stay calm and donâ€™t let the nerves take over, but that is easier said than done!
â€œThe EuroPro puts you in good stead for playing on the Challenge Tour and European Tour events too because of the TV coverage and the prize money; there is a big difference in prize money between first, second and third place on the EuroPro.
â€œGetting a European Tour card wasnâ€™t really on my mind at Challenge Tour Grand Final. The idea was to go out and enjoy it and try and get up the rankings to have a good category for next year. It was only really on the back nine that I thought I had a chance of getting through to the European Tour.â€
Daniel Godding, Director of Operations for the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour said: â€œWe are looking forward to staging the Tour Championship on Woburnâ€™s Marquessâ€™ Course. There is no doubting that this is one of the best courses in the country and it will provide a stern test for our golfers.
â€œWe still have three Challenge Tour cards to play for so the Tour Championship promises to be a tense and gripping conclusion to one of our most exciting seasons ever.â€
The tournament is a 54-hole strokeplay event. A maximum of 60 players will play 18 holes on all 3 days.