49th ranked Conor Purcell leads the Irish charge on the Challenge Tour at Wittelsbacher Golf club in Germany this week and will look to start a run as we enter the latter stages of this year’s tour schedule.
He is joined by Jonathan Yates, who tees off with the early birds in the third group at 7:42, Dermot McElroy, Cormac Sharvin, Niall Kearney and Jonathan Caldwell.
The Irish contenders will eye this year’s renewal as a chance to earn some good money and move up the Order of Merit as some of the higher ranked players on the tour have made the trip to Royal Liverpool for The Open Championship.
However, it is Englishman Will Enefer who arrives at Wittelsbacher Golf club in the most confident of moods after producing two top five finishes in six starts on the 2023 Road to Mallorca.
Enefer, who began the season with just six invites on the European Challenge Tour, has now earned himself additional opportunities following impressive performances at both the B-NL Challenge Trophy in May and the Italian Challenge Open earlier this month.
The 25-year-old carded rounds of 72-67-67-66 at the B-NL Challenge Trophy in the Netherlands to finish in a share of third place, before rounds of 66-70-68-66 earned him a solo second finish at the Italian Challenge Open. That result saw him climb into the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings for the first time this season, and with it came a shift in the goals he set himself at the beginning of the year.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday before the tournament began, he said: “If I manage myself and I play good golf I know that it’s good enough to win out here.
“At the start of the year, I wanted to earn more status on the Challenge Tour for next year, but the goal has definitely changed.
“I feel like I’ve got a good opportunity to leapfrog it all and get a DP World Tour card. My eyes are definitely on the top 20 now.
“I haven’t got to be overly aggressive. I’m in a good position and I know that if I play well and manage myself well that I should be okay.”
Enefer admits playing back-to-back events has taken some getting used to, but now accustomed to it, he’s looking forward to a strong outing in Germany before returning home for the UK swing.
He added: “You go from tournament to tournament on the Challenge Tour, which has definitely been an adjustment for me.
“It feels a little harder to switch off in between events because it’s obviously quite intense but I’m learning how to manage that.
“I’ve got a nice four week stretch. We’re here in Germany where I’m hoping to do well and then there’s three events in the UK, so it will be nice to get back home.
“From there I’ll be trying to get myself to the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by the R&A, which will be held on the course where I secured my invites this season. I feel confident that if I can get myself there, I’ve got a good game plan for a course that suits my game.”
Enefer joins a strong field in Germany, which includes seven-time DP World Tour winner Alvaro Quiros and two-time DP World Tour winner Lucas Bjerregaard.
Enefer tees off early on Thursday alongside Road to Mallorca Number One Casey Jarvis and Zimbabwean Benjamin Follett-Smith at 8:15am.