European Tour Reports
Find out about the hottest golf events taking place on a green near you! With reports on some of the most important events from the European and PGA Tours
Golf in two arenas
Saint-Omer Open (France) and US Open
This week, the international professional golf schedule offers both a size L and a size S in one weekend. While half the world is watching the US Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, the European Tour’s smallest event of The Saint-Omer Open is held in the north of France.
From June 14 to 17, the Saint-Omer Open is one of the two French golf events on the tour schedule. In Lumbres (half an hour drive south of Calais), the European Tour event is the tournament where ‘future greats’ of the Tour may step into the spotlight. Less than a month before the Alstom Open de France, the tournament is an ideal opportunity for tour players to bag their first win on the European Tour.
The Saint-Omer has quite a history of hosting first-time wins. Last year, Matthew Zions captured the Saint-Omer Open by a comprehensive seven shots. Predicting 2012’s winner is impossible, because of another nice fact about the Saint-Omer: since the tournament was held for the first time, there have been 12 different winners, with no player winning more than once since.
With € 500,000 prize money, the Saint-Omer Open has the smallest purse available on the European Tour. The tournament was founded in 1997 and was part of the MasterCard Tour a year later, before taking its place on the Challenge Tour for the 2000 season. In 2003 it also became an official money event on the European Tour.
The next US Open champion?
Another question that occupies the minds of golf lovers: who will be the next US Open Champion? In 2011, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shattered the U.S. Open scoring record, finishing at 16-under-par 268 for an eight-stroke victory over Australian Jason Day. McIlroy's performance at the at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda (Md) followed a victory by countryman Graeme McDowell, who at Pebble Beach in 2010 became the first European player to win the championship since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
Before Rory McIlroy, the USGA crowned Graeme McDowell, Lucas Glover, Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera, Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen and Jim Furyk. This year, the new champion may come from the ranks of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Paul Lawrie, the current top 5 in this year’s Race to Dubai ranking. Luke Donald, Simon Dyson, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods have also qualified.
Oldest athletic club
This year the US Open is hosted for the fifth time by the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Its original Lake Course was designed in 1924 by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, and redesigned by Whiting in 1927. The course, offering narrow, tree-lined fairways and small, well-bunkered greens, was modernized over the years, but is still true to its 1927 design. Recently a new eighth hole was put in, a 200-yard par 3.
Next time we´ll cover the BMW International Open, Cologne (Germany), until then read about:
- The Nordea Masters »
- Celtic Manor, iconic stage for ISPS Handa Wales Open »
- BMW PGA Championship, May 24-27 »
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