It’s not often that this column starts with Challenge Tour news ahead of the main event, but it has to be given priority this week.
Hats off to Espen Kofstad for his fantastic performance in Italy, not only in winning the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final champion but also topping the Challenge Tour rankings for 2012.
I am sure Espen, the first Norwegian to achieve the honour, will continue to distinguish himself in the sport and firmly believe his talent is such that it will take him to wherever he wants it to in coming years.
Espen was projected to finish fifth in the rankings at the halfway stage of the deciding event, but did not drop one shot over the weekend – an unbelievable achievement given the pressure he was under.
Joining Espen on the full Tour next season from Challenge level will be Simon Wakefield and Alexandre Kaleka, so all three have plenty to look forward to.
Out in China where the BMW Masters was being played in Shanghai, Louis Oosthuizen and fellow South African George Coetzee finished tied sixth behind Peter Hanson, while Lee Westwood may be the one to watch this week in Shenzhen at the HSBC WGC event after finishing with a last round 66 despite having been under the weather for most of the week.
Lee finished top-20, as did Charl Schwartzel, who left the event for a well-earned rest in South Africa.
And elsewhere, Florentyna Parker continued her progress tied for third at the China Suzhou Taihu Open. Well done all of you and keep up the good work.