A five strong Australian contingent will tackle this week’s Challenge Tour event in the UK as the jostling for money list positions intensifies at the business end of the season.
Tour regulars Ben Eccles, Ryan McCarthy, Daniel Fox and Daniel Gaunt are joined by Terry Pilkadaris at the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa in England for the Bridegstone Challenge.
Pilkadaris is making just his second Challenge Tour start for the season while the rest battle to play their way into the top 45 to keep their cards for next year or top 15 to graduate to the European Tour.
Just seven events remain after this week to achieve those goals and with Nick Cullen the Australian presently inside the top 45 there is much work to be done.
Young Victorian Ben Eccles will be disappointed with his results to date in 2017 to be 77th on the standings but he is the only Australian, aside from Cullen, to be inside the top 100.
Jordan Zunic sits 101st, Ryan McCarthy 108th, Daniel Fox 139th and Daniel Gaunt 199th.
Eccles, winner of the NSW Open while still an amateur in 2015, is playing his first full season on an international tour in 2017 and while he hasn’t played his best golf consistently the steep learning curve will hold him in good stead.
He confirmed he has the game to compete at the top level with a top 10 result at the European Tour’s Tshwane Open to start the year, he now just has to figure out how to play that standard of golf more regularly.
Gaunt has been a previous winner of this event though that victory came in 2010 when it was played at a different venue and his recent form has been lacking.
Fox and McCarthy have both struggled in their rookie seasons on Europe’s secondary Tour though McCarthy has had some good showings at bigger events along the way.
Qualifying for The Open in July was a highlight but a top 20 the following week at the main Tour’s Porsche European Open was his biggest cheque for the year.
Coming off three straight missed cuts, McCarthy needs to turn things around this week as does Fox who also missed the cut last week at the Czech Masters.
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