The Swiss Challenge is the next event on the DP World Tour’s official feeder circuit with four Irish golfers participating at Golf Saint Apollinaire which will be hosting the tournament for the third successive year.
Conor Purcell, Dermot McElroy, Jonathan Caldwell and Daniel Mulligan are all in action in Folgensbourg which straddles the French-Swiss border as the Challenge Tour enters its final four events on the calendar, with all Irish players having points to prove.
Purcell currently occupies 33rd place in the Road to Mallorca and has made the cut in his last eight appearances on the tour, including a joint-second finish at the Dormy Open. He will be looking to return to the form he displayed in Sweden at the end of August in this week’s event.
With five top-20 finishes including three top-10 places under his belt this season, Purcell will no doubt be anxious to end the week at the top of the leaderboard or at least in close proximity to it as the season starts to wind down.
Ireland’s highest finisher at the most recent Challenge Tour event, the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos, was Dermot McElroy with a share for 27th. Like Purcell, McElroy has performed well on the tour recently and was only denied a first win this year by a playoff at the Challenge de España two weeks ago.
Fellow Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell finished strongly in a recent appearance on the tour with a tie for third at the Farmsfood Scottish Challenge back in mid-August and will certainly look to reclaim that form over the next four days.
The Clandeboye golfer has followed up that top-three finish with three missed cuts in the last four events, but this tournament is a chance for Caldwell to get back amongst the weekend’s challengers.
The final Irish player competing this week is teenager Daniel Mulligan who is looking for his first made cut on the Challenge Tour this season. Although the 18-year-old has not enjoyed the success of his more experienced compatriots, he has shown glimpses of what he is capable of on Thursdays and Fridays.
The experience he has gained on his three tour events this year will surely stand to Mulligan as he attempts to put together consistent rounds before the weekends play.
And speaking of Mulligan, he will be out in the opening group of the day from the first tee alongside Englishman Callan Barrow and Switzerland’s Jean-Leon Aeschlimann (tee-off at 7:50 a.m.)
Dermot McElroy is also out early tomorrow morning with the pair of England’s Steven Brown and Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, starting at the first hole (tee-off at 8:10 a.m.)
Jonathan Caldwell is the third of the Irish contingent to start his round from the first tee, with Spaniard Emilio Cuartero Blanco and Dane Joachim B Hansen for company ( tee-off at 8:30 a.m.)
Conor Purcell completes the Irish quartet as he begins his opening round from the 10th tee alongside the Nordic duo of Finland’s Oliver Lindell and Sweden’s Henric Sturehed (tee-off at 14:10 p.m.)