The Challenge Tour is seen by some as a kind of second tier to the main tour as it can be route back to the main tour for relegated professionals. However, it still plays second fiddle to Q School which anyone can enter in an attempt to win a place on the main tour.
There are two places on the main tour on offer again this time but in a different way to last time. Last season the top two on the Order of Merit were awarded tour cards. As another place on the main tour became available, it was awarded to third placed Mitchell Mann.
This time, the first place on the Order of Merit will be awarded a tour card. The next eight players in the rankings with go into a play-off event, with the winner of that event to receive the second Tour Card. The draw for the play-off will be seeded with the player highest in the Challenge Tour rankings drawn against the eighth highest, and so on.
There are actually four pathways to the Challenge Tour.
The first event is actually the first time a Challenge Tour event, in this present format, has been oversubscribed. This means that there are a couple of qualifying matches before the first round of 64 players.