Masters champion Danny Willett defends his title in the 70th running of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC in Switzerland.

Masters champion Danny Willett will tee it up in Switzerland this week for the 70th European Masters sponsored by Omgea and the Englishman is joined on the start sheet by a host of star players, including Lee Westwood, Chris Wood, Alex Noren, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Bryson DeChambeau.

This is one of the European Tour’s oldest tournament venues and has been a fixture on the circuit since the Tour’s inception in 1972. Past winners include Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.

Last year, Danny Willett held off fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick to win by a single shot. Tyrell Hatton made it an English one-two-three as he closed with a superb 62.

Crans-sur-Sierre has, perhaps, the most spectacular backdrop of any course on the European Tour. With the towering Swiss Alps surrounding the layout, this event makes for a stunning TV spectacle.

The layout dates from 1908, though it was re-designed in the late 1920s then altered by Seve back in 1999.

It’s not a long course but it requires accurate hitting. If a player can keep the ball on track, good scores are possible. Back in 1992, Jamie Spence shot a 60 in the final round to force a playoff (which he then won) against Anders Forsbrand.

There’s been good news ahead of this tournament as Omega has confirmed they will continue as sponsors of this tournament until 2022.

The weather forecast for the end of this week looks fine for the Swiss Alps although rainfall from Monday to Wednesday could have softened the course for the players.

Venue: Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland
Date: Sep 1-4
Course stats: par 70, 6,848 yards
Purse: €2,700,000 Winner: €450,000
Defending Champion: Danny Willett (-17)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Friday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Saturday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm
Sunday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 11am

Player watch:

Matt Fitzpatrick – The young Englishman may have missed the cut in Denmark but he’d been on good form before then – fifth the previous week in the Czech Republic. He was runner-up in this event last year so clearly enjoys the course.

Tyrell Hatton – Another man with good memories of this venue after his third place in 2015. Hatton has been on great form through the summer with a second place in the Scottish Open a tie for fifth at The Open and a tie for 10th at the USPGA.

Tyrell Hatton swing sequence:

David Lipsky – He was a surprise winner here in 2014 and put on a spirited defence last year, save for a disappointing final round. He was tied third last week and sixth the week before.

Key holes: 5-7. Three straight par 4s measuring under 365 yards. The last two could be driveable depending on tee position and wind direction – This should be where players kick-start their rounds with a couple of birdies. However, danger awaits if you get greedy.