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New incentive for Challenge Tour players

Any player who wins three events on the 2004 European Challenge Tour will gain automatic promotion to the main European Tour, the tour announced on Monday.

The new initiative, proposed by European Tour players at last year's season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama, was officially endorsed by the tour at a tournament committee meeting last month.

Since 1992, 11 players have collected three wins in a single Challenge Tour season, all of them going on to finish inside the top 10 in the money list to earn their European Tour cards for the following year.

Danish Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn, who threw away a three-shot lead with three holes remaining in last year's British Open at Royal St George's, is among those 11, having won four times on the 1995 Challenge Tour.

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