Wychwood Park golfer and 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour member Jason Dransfield expects his home track to provide one of the sternest tests of the season as the unforgiving De Vere course in Crewe hosts the Veka and Network Veka UK Open 2012.
The three-day tournament, which gets underway next Wednesday August 22, is the 12th of 14 main-season events and with the campaign reaching its conclusion every golfer has it all to play for in the bid to earn a place at the Tour Championship, and with it the opportunity to move up a step on the European golfing ladder.
The 2012 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour season has been one of the closest in recent years and Dransfield doesn’t expect his fellow professionals to find life easy at Wychwood Park either.
“I would say Wychwood is among the best courses on the Tour,” he said. “I was there at the weekend and the course is looking very good.
“It is very demanding off the tee; you have to be straight and I think the better players will stand out because you can’t hit bad shots around the course.
“Because it is such a demanding course the winning score in recent years has been in single figures so that should make sure it is interesting throughout the week.”
The top 60 golfers on the Order of Merit after the 14 main-season events are invited to Tour Championship, after which the top five earners of the season are rewarded with a category on the Challenge Tour.
Dransfield currently sits just outside the top 100 on the Order of Merit having only played in five tournaments so far this year. However, a good end to the season could see him force his way onto the Tour Championship.
“I have been playing well but not quite had the results I was hoping for,” he admitted. “I am looking to turn that around in the final three events.
“Hopefully that will start at Wychwood. It is always an advantage when the course is familiar because you have a better idea of where to avoid, where to aim for, how the greens play and how the various wind conditions can affect things.
“A couple of good finishes would get you to Tour Championship and then you could have a shot at earning a Challenge Tour card.”
Danny Nickless, Operations Manager on the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour added: “We are delighted to be able to return to De Vere Venues Wychwood Park.
“The venue has become a regular on our schedule and we have witnessed some fantastic finishes on what is a very challenge course.”
The tournament is a 54-hole strokeplay event. A field of 168 players will play 18 holes on both Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23. There will then be a cut to the leading 50 players and ties who will play a final 18 holes on Friday, August 24.
Spectator entry is free throughout the event and live scoring will be available on this website.