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Challenge Tour to stop in Egypt & Panama

This year's European Challenge Tour will feature tournaments in Panama City and Egypt for the first time.

The Panama Masters at the Summit Golf & Resort will launch the 2004 season on Thursday while Egypt will stage an event at the Jolie Ville resort in Sharm El Skeikh from April 22 to 25.

Apart from Panama and Egypt, the 2004 tour will also take in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Zambia, Kenya, Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Austria, Britain, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden in a proposed 33-event schedule.

The Kenya Open, to be played at the Karen Golf Club in Nairobi from March 18-21, returns to the schedule after a one-year absence, the Tour said on Monday.

The season will end with the traditional Challenge Tour Grand Final at Golf du Medoc in France from October 21-24, after which the leading 15 players in the money list will graduate to the European Tour in 2005.

The Challenge Tour is effectively a breeding ground for the main European Tour, offering regular tournament golf for players who have not yet gained full or qualified playing privileges on the continent's flagship tour.

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