Thomas Levet will be hoping to become the first player to defend the Spanish Open title since Max Faulkner achieved the feat in 1952-53.
If he’s to be successful, Levet will have to get past a high-class field at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla including a strong Spanish representation. Miguel Angel Jimenez is joined on the start list by Alvaro Quiros, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Pablo Larrazabal, amongst a host of other home players. The last Spanish winner of the event was Sergio Garcia back in 2002.
The Spanish Open is one of the oldest on the professional circuit – the first was hosted in 1912 when the competition was won by Arnaud Massy. Since then there have been some notable champions including Peter Thomson, Roberto DeVicenzo and Seve Ballesteros.
Designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, this is a proven track for successful competitive events. The course played host to last year’s Open de Andalucia and the World Cup was contested over the layout in 2004. In 2009 the course was the venue for the Spanish International Amateur Championship.
Venue: Real Club de Golf de Sevilla
Date: Apr 29 – May 2
Course stats: par 72, 7,140 yards
Purse: €2,000,000 Winner: €333,330
Defending Champion: Thomas Levet (-18)
Thursday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Friday 30 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Saturday 1 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 12.30pm
Sunday 2 – Live on Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm
Oliver Fisher – The young Englishman is enjoying a rich vein of form. He’s finished in the top 10 on his last five starts.
Alvaro Quiros – The powerful Spaniard started the season strongly but was disappointing at the Masters. He’ll be looking to bounce straight back with a good performance here.
Soren Kjeldsen – The Dane has a great record when playing in Spain. Last year he won the Open de Andalucia contested at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla.
Key hole: 16th. A 523-yard par-5 that should be reachable in two for most of the field. But, with water guarding the front of the green, it’s an intimidating and challenging second shot. The hole will surely yield eagles but expect to see a few disasters here as well.
Skills required: Course management. With a number of well-placed bunkers and water hazards over an eclectic mix of holes, every shot will be tested and the players will use every club in the bag.