The European Tour heads to the Balearic Islands this week for the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca. Søren Hansen and Chris Wood are in the field at Pula Golf Club.
This tournament was previously known as the Mallorca Classic but has a new sponsor this year in the shape of Iberdrola – Spain’s leading energy company and the world’s largest producer of wind power.
Pula Golf Club is one of the Mallorca’s best-known courses. Opened in 1995, the layout was re-designed by Jose Maria Olazabal. It has been the venue for this event since it was first played in 2003.
Last year France’s Gregory Bourdy triumphed at Pula, beating England’s Sam Little by two strokes.
This is one of six European Tour events to be held on Spanish soil in 2010 and will be a good opportunity for one of the upcoming home players to shine. Amongst other Spaniards in the field are Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alejandro Canizares and Jose Manuel Lara. They will hope to follow in the footsteps of Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal – all past winners of this tournament.
Venue: Pula GC, Mallorca, Spain
Date: May 13-16
Course stats: par 70, 6,808 yards
Purse: €800,000 Winner: €133,330
Defending Champion: Grégory Bourdy (-12)
Thursday 13 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Friday 14 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10.30am
Saturday 15 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 12.30pm
Sunday 16 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 12.30pm
Søren Hansen – The Dane will start the week as favourite as he looks to firm up his position in the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. He currently sits at a precarious 50th.
Chris Wood – The young Englishman showed signs of form in last week’s Italian Open. If he can string four good putting days together, he’ll be right up there at the death.
Raphael Jacquelin – He’ll be looking to continue the run of French victors in this event after Bourdy’s win in 2009. Like Wood, he’s been showing glimpses of returning to his best form. He’s currently sporting a beard and has vowed to shave it off when he wins again. With a fairly weak field to get past, this is a great opportunity.
Key hole: 16th. A 442 yard dog-leg left demanding a very precise drive to a narrow sloping fairway bounded by water on the left and bunkers on the right. The water continues up the left side and comes into play for the approach shot.
Skills required: Accuracy. This is not a long course by Tour standards but careful placement from the tee is essential for a successful negotiation. Trees line many of the fairways and well-placed water hazards wait to catch errant drives on the 5th, 6th, 9th, 14th and 16th.