The European Tour remains in England this week for the 32nd running of the European Open. The competition returns to the London Club in Kent where an on-form Ross Fisher will defend a title he won in some style last season.
From 1995-2007, the European open was held at the K Club in Ireland but, in 2008, the tournament shifted location to the, Jack Nicklaus designed Heritage Course at the London Club in Kent. That event was dominated by an electric display from England’s Ross Fisher. He began the week with a superb round of 63 and he never relinquished the lead as he cruised home to a seven shot victory over Sergio Garcia.
Following a second place finish in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week, Fisher will be tough to beat at the London Club and he’ll be one of the favourites for the week.
But, there’s an impressive line-up of talented golfers on the start sheet aiming to spoil Fisher’s party. Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson are the top-ranked players in the field while other European stars like Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy will put up a strong challenge.
Masters Champion Angel Cabrera is joined on the entry list by other Major winners – Retief Goosen, Ben Curtis and Paul Lawrie.
Shane Lowry, the young winner of the Irish Open makes his professional debut in the event.
Venue: The London Golf Club, Kent, England
Course stats: par 72, 7,257 yards
Purse: €2,054,000, Winner: €341,220
Defending Champion: Ross Fisher (-20)
Thursday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10am
Friday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10am
Saturday 30 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 2pm
Sunday 31 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 1pm
Ross Fisher – The defending champion is on solid form and he loves the Heritage Course at the London Club. He’s clearly a horse for this course.
Sergio Garcia – Last year’s runner-up, Garcia will be desperate to regain the World number three spot that he lost to Paul Casey following the Englishman’s victory at Wentworth last week.
Rory McIlroy – The young Northern Irishman had a quiet couple of weeks following his return from a stint in the USA. But, a fifth place at Wentworth suggests he’s coming back towards his brilliant best.
Key hole: 16th. A 465 yard par four with a plethora of strategically placed bunkers at driving distance. Lay up and you’ll be left with a long iron for the second shot. Maximum accuracy is required if you try and thread the needle.
Skills required: Course management. There are a number of holes on the Heritage where you must be strategic. Laying up short of water or bunkering is often the prudent choice.