Friday, May 08, 2009

Dutch Delight for Challenge Tour

An increased prize fund of €150,000 will be on offer to the field in the third edition of The Dutch Futures on the European Challenge Tour, which will return to Houtrak Golf Club in Halfweg, the Netherlands, from September 10-13. The Royal Bank of Scotland will again sponsor the event, which was won last year in dramatic fashion by home favourite Taco Remkes, who claimed his third Challenge Tour title after prevailing in a play-off with Denmark’s Jeppe Huldahl. Like his compatriots Wil Besseling and Inder van Weerelt, Remkes subsequently graduated to The European Tour, where he is now playing alongside fellow Challenge Tour graduates Robert-Jan Derksen, Maarten Lafeber and Joost Luiten. Those hoping to make it a Dutch double this year include Rolf Muntz, who triumphed in the Qatar Masters on The European Tour in 2000, ten years after becoming the first Dutchman to capture The Amateur Championship – an achievement matched last year by his compatriot Reinier Saxton. Since its inception in 2007 – when Scotland’s Peter Whiteford took the title – The Dutch Futures has traditionally attracted a strong field, and this year’s event should be no different as it falls the week before the Kazakhstan Open, which carries the largest prize fund on the regular Challenge Tour Schedule.Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to Houtrak Golf Club, where the quality of the course always guarantees a tremendous competition. Last year’s tournament was memorable for Taco’s third Challenge Tour win, and with another strong challenge expected from our growing Dutch contingent, I would again expect the home crowds to turn out in force. “It is important for us to have a strong and well-established event the week before the Kazakhstan Open, and with The Royal Bank of Scotland’s support, this year’s Dutch Futures will be stronger than ever. As well as The Royal Bank of Scotland, we should also thank the tournament promoters Made in Scotland, and everyone involved at the club for their continuous support.” Jan de Ruiter, CEO Netherlands of The Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Dutch Futures is a fantastic national event, which combines a personal touch. We at the bank feel that this makes for a perfect match.” Niels Boysen, Director of Made in Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to announce that the prize fund has been increased by €10,000 to €150,000, meaning the winner will now collect €25,000. With The Dutch Futures being the sixth last tournament to be held this season, the prize money at that time of the year is extremely important as the players fight to improve their final Ranking positions. “I’m sure the players will be as delighted as we are that the tournament is returning to Houtrak Golf Club, and we all look forward to another successful week. It would be great to have Taco back as defending champion. Of course it will depend on his European Tour schedule, but we will have a place reserved for him if he can make it.”

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