Throughout its history the Challenge Tour has been known for breaking new ground across the globe, and that trend continues this week with the inaugural D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge.
Lukas Tintera will head to Penati Golf Resort looking to build on a decent showing at his home event in the Czech Republic earlier this year (the D+D REL Czech Challenge), where he finished in a tie for 46th place, as he continues to spearhead the growth of the game in Eastern Europe.
The 29 year old is excited to tee it up across the border in Slovakia, and this week will be especially poignant as he returns to the birthplace of his mother.
“I’m looking forward to the tournament,” said the man from Chyne, west of Prague. “I’ve never played the course, but I have heard some great stories about it and it will no doubt be perfect. I’m also looking forward to the week as my mother is from Slovakia, so it is almost a homecoming, and it will be nice to play there as people will be supporting me.
“My game is very good right now, and I’m looking forward to trying to shoot some low scores. It is nice to play tournaments in this area, like last week in Germany – it was not home, but it was really close to my home in the Sudetenland. It is always nice to be around a culture that is quite similar to your own.”
This week in Slovakia is not just an important one for Tintera, but it also continues to promote the game in relatively uncharted territory.
Promoters RELMOST and D+D REAL have been instrumental in bringing events to the region in recent years, and have even backed the return of The European Tour to the Czech Republic later this season. Tintera believes these events are essential to improve players from his country and others around it, and he is very thankful for the opportunities being provided.
“It is really important to have tournaments like this in Slovakia, and earlier in the year in the Czech Republic,” said Tintera. “Golf is still growing and as players we need the opportunity to play in these tournaments, as we all want to play on The European Tour one day, and this is a great opportunity to learn how to play at the highest level.
“From what I have seen in the Czech Republic earlier in the year, it was one of the best events, and you can see that everything is done really well. The weather is sometimes tough, but D+D REAL and RELMOST are really good promoters, and hopefully they will continue for years to come.
“It is also great to have The European Tour coming to Prague later in the year. It will be perfect as I work at Albatross Golf Resort, and I would love to have the opportunity to play in the tournament.”
Other players in the field include the winner of the recent Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, Andrew Johnston, and fellow first time winners Oliver Farr, Antonio Hortal and Thomas Linard, who won the Turkish Airlines Challenge, Challenge de Catalunya and D+D REAL Czech Challenge respectively earlier this season.
There will also be four home grown players in the field, as well as a further 12 from the Czech Republic, including Tintera.
Source: European Tour