European and Challenge Tour champion Thomas Björn will host the sixth edition of the ECCO Tour Championship from August 17-20, when the event will move to Lübker Golf Resort on the Djursland peninsula of Jutland, in Denmark.
Ten-time European Tour champion Björn is lending his support to the €160,000 event in order to give something back to the Challenge Tour, having topped the Rankings in 1995 courtesy of four victories, including the Esbjerg Danish Closed on home soil.
The ECCO Tour Championship is returning to Björn’s homeland after last year’s event at Green Eagle Golf Club in Germany, which was won by then-amateur Andreas Hartø of Denmark, who after joining the professional ranks won his second Challenge Tour title – at the Roma Golf Open presented by REZZA – before earning his European Tour card at the Qualifying School Final Stage.
A year before it hosted the Qualifying School First Stage in 2009, Lübker Golf Resort was named ‘Best New International Course’ by Golf Magazine, which claimed that “this flawlessly conditioned 27-hole Robert Trent Jones II design is Scandinavia’s answer to Valderrama”.
As well as an Academy course for juniors, the complex, which was built over five years on a 500-acre estate, comprises three nine-hole layouts named Sand, Sky and Forest. All three are notable for their bold bunkering, heavily-contoured greens and the abundance of water hazards.
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, said: “It is excellent news for the Challenge Tour to have a tournament back in Denmark, a country which has produced so many great players down the years – particularly Thomas Björn, who has kindly agreed to host the event. It will also be a privilege for our Members to have the opportunity to play at Lübker Golf Resort, which is one of Denmark’s very best courses. So the sixth edition of the ECCO Tour Championship looks very promising indeed.”
Flemming Astrup, Director of tournament promoters GolfPromote, said: “Since last autumn we have worked hard to get the ECCO Tour Championship back to Denmark, especially since 2010 was such a fantastic year for Danish golf.
“As well as victories on the Challenge Tour for Andreas and Thorbjørn Olesen, Thomas Norret also gained his European Tour card at the Qualifying School, Lucas Bjerregaard won the Junior World Championship and the Seniors European Championship, and the Danish national team finished runners-up in the Amateur World Cup.
“So it’s important for Denmark to host an event on the Challenge Tour, and we’re therefore extremely pleased and proud of the agreement with Lübker Golf Resort, where the course and surroundings are perfect for staging this event.”
Jesper Thuen, Sponsor and Event Manager for ECCO, said: “We’re very pleased with the agreement between GolfPromote and Lübker Golf Resort, and we look forward to returning to Denmark to play on one of the best golf courses in the whole of Europe. We are also very pleased that Thomas Björn has agreed to host the tournament – his support means a lot, both for us as sponsors but also for the continued development of the ECCO Tour.”
Per Kaersgaard, Director of Director Lübker Golf Resort, said: “We hosted the Qualifying School First Stage in 2009, so we are looking forward to welcoming The European Tour back to Lübker. It will be an exciting week, and we can guarantee that the course will be in excellent condition. We believe that we have one of the best courses in Europe, with a severity which will test even the best young players in Europe.”
Two weeks before the ECCO Tour Championship, Lübker Golf Resort will also stage the the Actona PGA Championship presented by FREJA on the ECCO Tour. The event will be hosted by Thorbjørn Olesen, who finished third in last season’s Challenge Tour Rankings thanks largely to his victory in The Princess.
Olesen, who finished in a tie for second place on his first European Tour appearance of the season at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, said: “I’m happy to give a little back to the ECCO Tour. It will be great to play on the Tour again, especially as the tournament is at Lübker Golf Resort. Unfortunately I’ve never played the course myself but it’s been praised to the skies by anyone who has, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing it in August.”
He will be joined at Lübker Golf Resort by his compatriot and fellow European Tour Member Hartø, who said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to come back and play on the ECCO Tour, because I owe the Tour a lot for giving me the opportunity to play the ECCO Tour Championship last year. My victory persuaded me to leave college and turn professional, and is the main reason why I am where I am today – on The European Tour.”