After last week’s Sicilian Open, the European Tour travels to Spain this week for the Open de Andalucia de Golf by Turkish Airlines, at the Parador de Malaga Golf.
The Parador de Malaga Golf made a welcome return to the European Tour schedule in 2010. It’s one of the oldest courses on the Costa del Sol. Designed by Harry Colt and Tom Simpson, it opened for play in 1928.
In last year’s tournament South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen won the event in impressive style by three strokes from Richard Finch and Peter Whiteford. It was his first European Tour title and it acted as a great springboard as he went on to claim golf’s greatest individual prize in the Open Championship at St Andrews.
Oosthuizen will not defend his title this week as he is suffering from an ongoing eye infection.
“I am so disappointed to be missing the event, especially as my friend Miguel Angel Jiménez is once again promoting it, but the doctor has advised complete rest.”
Jimenez, a winner of the Andalucian Open of 1999 will be playing in the event after promoting it in recent months. He admits the stresses of acting as tournament organiser have been great.
“It is impossible to concentrate and practise for the last three months,” he says. “Too many phone calls and meetings, trying to find sponsors in a difficult financial climate.”
A strong field has assembled however, including last week’s winner Raphael Jacquelin, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.
Venue: Parador de Malaga Golf, Malaga, Spain
Date: March 24-27
Course stats: par 70, 6,817yards
Purse: €1,000,000, Winner: €166,660
Defending Champion: Louis Oosthuizen (-17)
Thursday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 11am
Friday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 11am
Saturday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 1pm
Sunday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 1pm
Simon Dyson – The Englishman put on a good performance in Sicily last week to finish in the top-five. When he’s on his game, he’s a supremely solid performer and this shorter course should suit him.
Alvaro Quiros – He may not have played to his full potential in the recent WGC events Stateside, but he won in Dubai and was second in Qatar. With his length he could dominate this course, if he can keep on the straight and narrow.
Anthony Wall – Runner-up last week, the Englishman will look to go one better this time out.
Key hole: 16th. At 481 yards, this is a long and testing par 4. In fact, when the tournament was contested here back in 1999, the hole was played as a par 5.
Skills required: Making birdies. A flat and relatively short course, this is a track that will produce a number of birdies. The winner will finish the week well under par, perhaps even 20.
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