European Tour and Challenge Tour to resume in Austria

The European Tour will test waters with the European Challenge Tour as it re-boots with back-to-back dual ranking events in Austria in July. The Austrian Open at Diamond Country Club, from July 9-12 will mark the return of the Challenge Tour after a five-month pause following the global outbreak of Coronavirus.

It will be followed by the Euram Bank Open at Golf Club Adamstal. The Euram Bank Open remains in its original slot on the calendar. It will however begin a day earlier from Wednesday July 15 to Saturday July 18.

Both tournaments will have prize funds of €500,000 and will be dual-ranking events with the European Tour, which fully resumes its 2020 season with the Betfred British Masters Hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House from July 22-25.

Jamie Hodges, Head of the Challenge Tour, said: “Our measured approach to the 2020 season has mirrored that of the European Tour and we have been informed each step of the way by our Medical Health Strategy, led by our Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Murray, aligned to individual government safety advice.

“Part of this strategy is to play, wherever possible, in clusters in one territory and we are therefore grateful to the Austrian Golf Federation and the two venues, Diamond Country Club and Golf Club Adamstal for their support in making these events happen.

“We will continue to be guided by the European Tour’s Medical Health Strategy and we will announce details of subsequent 2020 Challenge Tour events in due course.”

Ben Cowen, the European Tour’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer, said: “These two dual ranking events provide vital playing opportunities for our members following the enforced period of inactivity since March.”

The Challenge Tour’s resumption will be five months after Christian Bezuidenhout won the Dimension Data Pro-Am to conclude three consecutive weeks in South Africa at the start of the 2020 Challenge Tour season.

Bezuidenhout’s victory at Fancourt Golf Estate in February was followed by wins for JC Ritchie, his fellow South African, in the Limpopo Championship at Euphoria Golf Club and Sweden’s Anton Karlsson in the RAM Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

On the European Tour, the two dual ranking events in Austria precede the Tour’s full return at the Betfred British Masters at Close House, which launches a six-week UK swing.

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