Despite the lack of star power, the event is still generating a good buzz due to the fact the tournament is enjoying it's new found status as a regular on the European Tour International Schedule. For the three years prior the event was played on the European Challenge Tour which is much like the Nationwide Tour in America.
And because of the absence of many top players that are playing in the U.S. Open, the field will be comprised of both regular tour members and those still grinding it out on the Challenge Tour. Any money won at this event will count toward the money ranking on each tour.
Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price will headline the field and 2002 champion Nicolas Vanhootegem of Belgium is set to return to defend his title. The victory helped Vanhootegem finish in seventh place on the 2002 Challenge Tour Rankings and earn his 2003 card for the European Tour.
Frenchmen Pascal Edmond and Sebastian Delagrange, who won the first two editions of the Aa St Omer Open on the Challenge Tour, are teeing it up again in front of the home country supporters, as is another Frenchman, Gregory Havret, who captured the 2001 Italian Open.
European Tour Statistical Preview