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Challenge Tour to start 2005 in Latin America

The 2005 European Challenge Tour will make an early start next month with tournaments in Mexico, Panama and Peru, the European Tour said on Tuesday.

First up is the 47th Abierto Mexicano de Golf, to be played at the Club de Golf de Hacienda in Mexico City from November 25 to 28.

Over the following two weeks, the Panama Open will be held at the Coronado Beach and Golf Resort and the Peru Open at Los Incas Country Club in Lima.

It will be the third consecutive season the Challenge Tour has co-sanctioned events with the Tour de las Americas (TLA).

"Our TLA players strongly support the relationship between the TLA and the European Challenge Tour," TLA commissioner Henrique Lave said in a statement.

"We consider it a great route for them to attempt to advance to the European Tour, as Cesar Monasterio and Sebastian Fernandez did in the 2003 season."

Argentines Monasterio and Fernandez aim to follow in the footsteps of compatriots like Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera as multiple winners on the European Tour.

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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