After the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale last week, the European Tour travels to Germany for the Porsche European Open. Alexander Levy will be the defending champion at the Green Eagle golf course in Hamburg.

Following last week’s thrilling Open Championship, many of the European Tour’s top players will be in Hamburg this week to contest the Porsche European Open. Frenchman Alexander Levy defends the title and Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Matteo Manassero are on the start sheet.

There’s a change of venue and timing on the schedule for this event in 2017. For the last two years the event was contested at Bad Griesbach in Bavaria at the end of September. This season, the tournament is being contested at the Green Eagle Golf Club in Hamburg.

The North Course at Green Eagle GC in Hamburg is one of three at the 186-hectare venue. The track was used for the ECCO Tour Championship on the Challenge Tour in 2010.

This event was first contested on the European Tour in 1978 when Bobby Wadkins was the victor at Walton Heath GC. The tournament has been played at some of the finest courses – Turnberry, Sunningdale, Royal Liverpool and, for a number of years, at the K Club in Ireland. Previous winners of the competition include: Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Tom Kite, Sandy Lyle, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.

The event disappeared from the schedule after the 2009 season but made a welcome return in 2015 when Thongchai Jaidee was the winner. Last season France’s Alexander Levy came through a sudden-death playoff against Ross Fisher at the second extra hole to claim his third European Tour title.

The weather forecast looks pretty grim with rain likely every day until Sunday.

Venue: Green Eagle Golf Course, Hamburg, Germany
Date: July 27-30
Course stats: par 72, 7,582 yards
Purse: €2,000,000
Defending Champion: Alexander Levy (-19)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am
Friday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am
Saturday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm
Sunday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player Watch:
Charl Schwartzel – The South African produced an excellent first round at Birkdale last week only to fade in round two. But, he’s a solid competitor and this is the sort of course that should suit his game.

Thorbjorn Olesen – The Dane has been on a good run since the BMW PGA Championship. He hasn’t missed a cut since then and has been tied 4th in Sweden and tied 3rd in France.

Thorbjorn Olesen swing sequence:

Alex Levy – The defending champion can be brilliant when he gets on a run and he has shown signs of finding his best form in recent weeks – a second round 66 at Dundonald showed promise. It’s only three months since he won in China.

Key hole: 18th. A par-5 that can stretch over 600 yards, this is a classic finishing hole. Water lurks all down the left side and an approach, be it a bold second or a regulation third, must carry the water to find a green that juts out into the lake. This one could witness some real drama towards the end of the event.