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Published on : Friday, May 13, 2016
After successive victories in the event for Rhys Davies and Oliver Farr, Wales will be aiming to maintain their stranglehold on the event with Farr, once again, tipped to be among the leading contenders from the 156-man field after his 2014 success.
Farr said: “The title has been in Welsh hands since the first tournament and hopefully we can continue that.
“That’s definitely the goal this week. I’m lucky in that I’ve played the course before. I had a look at it and it’s in great condition.”
But it will be no easy task for the Brits as Road to Oman leader, Sebastian Soderberg from Sweden, targets a second victory of the season after his early success in Kenya.
Another player in the field who has fond memories of Gloria Golf Club is Sihwan Kim, who set a course record when he shot a nine-under-par 63 on the Old Course in last year’s edition of the tournament.
But it’s a different test for the South Korean this time around as the event takes place on the New Course – added to the luxurious five-star venue in 2005.
The Challenge Tour has become a breeding ground for future major champions and Ryder Cup stars with Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari and Jamie Donaldson among the long list of graduates from the ranks.
There are sure to be some future golfing superstars battling for a lucrative prize pot of 175,000 euros at the four-day event with the top-15 on the money list at the end of the campaign earning their place among the European Tour elite for 2017.
It’s the second time the Gloria venue has staged a Challenge Tour event and has been given the seal of approval by Road to Oman leader Soderberg.
He said: “I feel good and I love this place. I haven’t played on the New Course, but the course that we played on here last year is awesome. I’m sure this course will be as good and that it will be a good tournament.
“The whole setup and everything around here is great – we’ve got everything we need and that makes things easier.”
Last year was the first time Gloria had staged the tournament at the Old Course – the Michel Gayon-designed par-72 course, which measures up at 6,529m and is regarded as one of the top golf venues in Turkey since it opened in 1997.
The New Course was added to the resort eight years later and has previously hosted the European Seniors Tour Classic and the World Amateur Team Championship.
There is also a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice facilities – ideal for professionals and amateurs alike.
Spectators and holidaymakers can enjoy the huge range of facilities the resort has to offer at one of the nearby five-star hotels of the Gloria Hotels & Resorts: Gloria Serenity Resort, Gloria Golf Resort and Gloria Verde Resort.