The European Challenge Tour will return to Russia for the first time in five years when Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club hosts the Russian Challenge Cup from September 16-19, 2010.
With a prize fund of €175,000, the inaugural tournament will take place the week after the Kazakhstan Open creating an important double header in Eastern Europe in the penultimate month of the Challenge Tour season.
The 6,849m, par 72 Jack Nicklaus signature course at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, located 50km north of the Russian capital Moscow, opened in 2009 and is a mixture of parkland and links.
It will host the Challenge Tour’s first visit to Russia since Mikael Lundberg won the dual ranking Russian Open at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club in 2005.
The former Russian Open was a Challenge Tour event between 1996 and 2002, before gaining dual ranking status with the European Tour until 2005, then full European Tour status between 2006-2008.
There will be a field of 132 players for the inaugural Russian Challenge Cup, including 112 Challenge Tour players – comprising the top 100 from the Rankings plus 12 from categories – and 20 Russian invitations/amateurs.
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Moscow and Russia and hopefully we will be back in Russia for a long time to come.
“It is not every week that you are able to play on a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and I’m sure that the tournament will be a huge success.
“I would like to thank the Russian Golf Association and the promoters Golf-Profi for their support in making this tournament an exciting new addition to the Challenge Tour schedule.”
Vadim Prasov, Managing Director of Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club, said: “We are pleased at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club to welcome the Challenge Tour players.
“It is an honour for our club to host a Challenge Tour event, and we are confident that Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club has all the resources and capacity to make this event a success”
Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the Vice President of the RGA and a former Olympic tennis champion, said : “As a result of our efforts the European Challenge Tour is back in Russia and we are glad to provide golf fans the opportunity to enjoy this thrilling game played by professionals from all over Europe.
“We are confident that the Russian Challenge Cup will be an excellent tournament and undoubtedly the golf event of the year in Russia.”
Promoter Golf-Profi has been involved in golf industry in Russia for the last eight years and has become the leader in golf product supply on the Russian market. It is the first time Golf-Profi has promoted an event on the Challenge Tour.