Re-cap of the European Tour so far
This week’s blog is a recap of the European Tour 2018 and its most notable events so far including AfrAsia Mauritius Open, Eurasia Cup in Malaysia, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, The Masters, Open de Espana, GolfSixes and the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open which was played just last weekend For any golfing fanatic these are must-see events which are played on magnificent courses by the top golfers from around the world.
The AfrAsia Mauritius Open was hosted by the fantastic Heritage Golf Club which is located in the southern part of the stunning island of Mauritius and has been recently recognised as one of the top courses in Africa. The championship course boasts breathtaking views from every green and tee and it posed an exciting challenge for the golfers that took on this course last December. It was at Heritage Golf Club that Dylan Frittelli captured his second European Tour at the first playoff hole beating Arjun Atwal.
The Eurasia Cup was held in January this year at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club and although the European team were losing after Friday’s Fourball and Saturday’s Foursomes, on Sunday the team gathered 8.5 points in order to seal their 14-10 victory over the host team. The Europe Captain, Thomas Bjørn, expressed his delight over the team’s great performance to persevere after they were trailing behind before Sunday’s events. This was a great win for the Europe Team and they have successfully defended their Eurasia Cup.
Later in January earlier this year was the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which was held at the fantastic Abu Dhabi Golf Club where it has been held for many years now. This national golf club is often regarded by the professional golfers as being a tough but fair challenge being 7,600 yards in length as well as boasting many strategically positioned hazards including bold bunkering, ornamental trees and saltwater lakes. Tommy Fleetwood took home the title in 2017 and came back to defend his title this year and succeeded making it his second year in a row here at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. His back nine display was nothing short of spectacular as he closed with 65, 22 under-par which left him with a two-shot victory over fellow Englishman Ross Fisher.
The Masters, once again held at the spectacular Augusta National Golf Club, was played in early April and did not disappoint viewers of this well-known and impressive golfing championship. The competition is played over four days and 72 holes where the best golfers from around the world get the chance to compete to take home the Green Jacket and a place in the Masters’ history. Augusta National Golf Club is an impressive, members-only club with immaculate greens, stunning scenery and an interesting, diverse and tricky layout which puts professionals and amateurs alike to the test every year. American Patrick Reed claimed the Green Jacket last month with his impressive win at Augusta National Golf Club, the two-time Ryder Cup star picked up his first Major at this fantastic and prestigious event and along with this, he also surged to the top spot in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Just north of Madrid sits the impressive Centro Nacional de Golf which boasts 18 holes of stunning golf that skirt the walls of the Monte del Pardo Park. The club has played host to some of the best golfers in the world in the past and before this year, last hosted the Open de Espana in 2007 just a year after it had opened. The World Number Four, Jon Rahm, claimed victory at the Open de Espana last April and when he did so, he also claimed his third European Tour title. This was just a short time after he finished fourth at Augusta National Golf Club at The Masters. This win for Rahm has also impacted the Race to Dubai rankings with him moving up into an impressive fifth place. There is no doubt that Jon Rahm is one to watch as he seems to be turning into his country’s next icon…
The GolfSixes boasts an innovative playing format with the addition of women’s and mixed teams which brought lots of media attention and huge crowds to the Centurion Club near St Albans earlier this month. The course was designed by Simon Gidman in 2013 and boasts a great links feel. The tees are positioned above the fairways so that there are spectacular views from them, but the golfers mustn’t be distracted by the views as there are about 80 bunkers and four major water hazards positioned along the course. Players at the competition faced a modified six-hole course and each of the holes comprised of a different skill element including a shot clock. Ireland were the ones who put on a dominant display over the six matches and two days at Centurion Club to win the second GolfSixes. In all of the six stages, Ireland came out on top.
The most recent European Tour event, Rocco Forte Sicilian Open was played over last weekend at Verdura Golf Club. Verdura Resort boasts a stunning location situated within a valley of olive groves close to the seaside town of Sciacca. The course used for the Open was a spectacular combination of the two courses at Verdura and featured a dramatic finish with the final six holes running alongside the coast with the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. It was at Verdura Golf Club last weekend that Sweden’s Lagergren took his first European Tour title and with this title, made an impressive jump from 245th in the world rankings to 133rd as well as moving to 47th in the Race to Dubai rankings.
There has already been some amazing golf played this year and with some more exciting events coming up like the Belgian Knockout which is being played at Rinkven International Golf Club starting today, the BMW PGA Championship which will be hosted at Wentworth Club later this month, the Italian Open which is also starting later this month at Gardagolf Golf Club and of course, the US Open and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club next month! It is all about who will rank highest in the Race to Dubai…