The European Tour is in Europe for the first time in the 2010 season this week. Soren Kjeldsen defends the Open de Andalucia de Golf at Parador de Malaga.
The Golf de Parador de Malaga makes a welcome return to the European Tour schedule. It’s one of the oldest courses on the Costa del Sol, designed by Tom Simpson and opened for play in 1928. This was the venue for the Andalucian Opens of 1992 and 1999 won by Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez respectively.
This year’s event is being co-promoted by Jimenez’s management company MMI. “The Mechanic” is a native of Malaga.
Last year at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Soren Kjeldsen came out on top of a hard-fought final round battle with Scotland’s David Drysdale. Just four months after capturing the last ever Volvo Masters at Valderrama, the Dane was once again a victor on Spanish soil.
Venue: Parador de Malaga, Spain
Date: Mar 25-28
Course stats: par 70, 6,817 yards
Purse: €1,000,000 Winner: €166,660
Defending Champion: Soren Kjeldsen (-14)
Thursday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11am
Friday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11am
Saturday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 1pm
Sunday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 1pm
Miguel Angel Jimenez – A former winner of this tournament back in 1999, the veteran Spaniard is on excellent form this season. He already has a win to his name – the Dubai Desert Classic.
Soren Kjeldsen – The Dane is the defending champion and he always performs well when the European Tour visits Spain – he’s secured two of his four Tour victories in the country.
Alvaro Quiros – The long-hitting Spaniard has the ability to blow the field apart if he’s on his game. He returned a solid tied sixth finish at the recent WGC – CA Championship.
Key hole: 16th. At 481 yards, this is a long and testing par 4. In fact, last time the tournament was contested here in 1999, the hole was played as a par 5.
Skills required: Going low. This is a course that could well witness some impressive scoring. Jimenez won with a -24 total here in 1999 and, at 6,817 yards, it’s a relatively short track by modern professional standards.