The European Tour finally lands in continental Europe this week and the first stop is the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla for the Open de Andalucia de Golf 09.
Designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, this is a proven track for successful competitive events. The course played host to last year’s Open de Espana and the World Cup was contested over the layout in 2004. Earlier this year the course was the venue for the Spanish International Amateur Championship.
Colin Montgomerie reaches a landmark this week as he plays in his 500th European Tour event. He’s won 31 times on the circuit and has amassed prize money of almost €24,000,000. He’s earned €194 for every shot he’s played during his European Tour career.
Ignacio Garrido lost a playoff for the Open de Espana over this course in 2008 and will be one of many Spaniards hoping to secure success on home soil this week. He’ll be joined by – tournament co-promoter Miguel Angel Jimenez, Pablo Larrazabal and Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, among others. They’ll be looking to add to Spain’s impressive tally of 149 victories on the European Tour, only England can boast more.
Thomas Levet of France defends the title he won after a playoff against youngster, Oliver Fisher at Aloha GC last season.
Venue: Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Spain
Date: Mar 26-29
Course stats: par 72, 7,140 yards
Purse: €1,000,000 Winner: €166,660
Defending champion: Thomas Levet (-16)
Miguel Angel Jimenez – The 2008 BMW PGA Champion is one of the tournament promoters this week and will be looking to put on a good showing.
Colin Montgomerie – It’s a momentous week for the 2010 Ryder Cup Captain as he tees it up in his 500th European Tour event.
Peter Lawrie – The Irishman won the Open de Espana over the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla in 2008 so has good memories of the venue. He’ll aim to draw on those this week.
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.
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