Any European Challenge Tour player who wins three tournaments during the 2004 season will gain automatic and immediate promotion to The European Tour International Schedule.

This new initiative, proposed by The European Tour Members, gives the Challenge Tour regulars even greater opportunity to achieve their objective of a place on Tour. Any player who wins three events during the Challenge Tour season will immediately earn Category 3c status on The European Tour but will remain in the Challenge Tour Rankings for the season.

History shows that any player with the talent and attitude to win three Challenge Tour events in one season has never finished the season outside the top 15 places on the Rankings.

Since 1992, 11 players have notched three victories in one season and all of them finished inside the top ten of the Challenge Tour Rankings. Mikael Krantz of Sweden was the first player to achieve three wins in a season back in 1992, and that secured him seventh place in the final standings while Australian Marcus Fraser won three times last season. Other players to have won three times include England’s Warren Bennett, Thomas Björn of Denmark, Michael Campbell of New Zealand and the Swedish pair of Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson, all subsequent winners on The European Tour International Schedule.

In 2004, the Challenge Tour players will have the chance to follow Fraser’s path by either winning a dual ranking event, or taking three Challenge Tour titles in the space of a year to guarantee an immediate place on the European Tour.

David Garland, Director of Tour Operations on The European Tour, said: ‘This decision was an initiative from the European Tour players that originated at a Players Meeting during the Volvo Masters Andalucia in 2003. The proposal was then unanimously passed at the Tournament Committee meeting in December, and we are delighted to implement this new regulation for the 2004 Challenge Tour season.’

Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour added: ‘I am very happy with this decision as it gives a new opportunity to the players who can achieve such a high level of performance. It also gives those players the chance to get invaluable experience on The European Tour before the beginning of the following season, when their one year exemption as a Challenge Tour graduate begins.’

For further information contact:

Communications Department
The European Tour
Tel: +44 1344 840400
Fax: +44 1344 840444