The European Tour heads for Austria this week and the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg. Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg is the defending champion.

Lowdown:
The European Tour heads for Austria this week and the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg. Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg is the defending champion.

This tournament was first contested as the Austrian Open in 1990 when Bernhard Langer took the title. Since then, Ronan Rafferty, Paul McGinley, Richard Green and Jeev Milkha Singh have all been winners.

Last season Mikael Lundberg came through a playoff against home favourite Bernd Wiesberger to win. Lundberg fired a superb closing round of 65 to post a clubhouse total of 12-under-par that Wiesberger was unable to better. The event was decided on the first extra hole where the Swede holed a monster putt for birdie.

“It’s always more special when you go to an event as the defending champion,” said Lundberg ahead of this week’s event. “I wish my game was in better shape but it was similar last year. I didn’t play well in Sweden but then I won. Maybe it will click the same way this year.”

Wiesberger will start as a strong favourite this year. He won the tournament back in 2012, comes into the event off the back of a runner’s up finish in the Irish Open, and he’ll have the support of the home fans.

Opened for play in 2000, the course at Diamond Country Club took over as host venue for the Austrian Open in 2010. It’s an interesting Jeremy Pern design featuring water hazards on nine of the 18 holes.

There’s an increased prize fund for this year’s tournament, up to €1,500,000 from €1,000,000. That rise was announced in November when it was also confirmed that the Lyoness Open will be a feature on the European Tour until at least 2019.

The weather could provide some problems. It’s forecast to be very hot, with temperatures around 30 deg C, but there’s also the threat of thunderstorms. There could well be some disruption.

Venue: Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
Date: Jun 11-14
Course stats: par 72, 7,417 yards
Purse: €1,500,000 Winner: €250,000
Defending Champion: Mikael Lundberg (-12)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 11 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am
Friday 12 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am
Saturday 13 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm
Sunday 14 – Sky Sports 4 from 11.30am

Player watch:
Rafa Cabrera Bello – The Spaniard has been on solid form of late – tied fourth in the Irish Open and tied 13th last week in Sweden.

Julien Quesne – His form has been up and down so far in 2015, but he has collected more than €350,000 from the 14 events he’s played in.  He has four top-10s and nine finishes in the money.

Benjamin Hebert – A bit of an outsider, but Hebert has shown good signs of form this season with a tie for 10th in Qatar his best result. He picked up three titles on the 2014 Challenge Tour so he’s clearly not afraid of winning. Perhaps this week could see his breakthrough on the main circuit.

Key hole:
16th – A par four of some 420 yards, it’s not length that’s the problem on this one, it’s water. There’s water all down the right side for the tee shot, then it lurks right, left and long for the approach.