• Is returning to the Swiss venue for the first time in nine years
• Won the event in 2005 and comes in after a top ten at the Open
SERGIO GARCIA | OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
Sergio Garcia will be hoping to build on yet another strong Open Championship performance as he heads the field at this week’s Omega European Masters.
The 35-year-old, who recorded his ninth top ten finish in 15 Open appearances at St Andrews, is making his return to the Swiss event after a nine-year absence, and has an excellent past record on the Crans-sur-Sierre course.
With some exceptional views of the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, Garcia tamed the circuit back in 2005 with a one-shot victory over Peter Gustafsson, while he also finished third and fourth in other of his recent appearances.
"I played very well in tough conditions at St Andrews" - Sergio Garcia
“I played very well in tough conditions at St Andrews,” Sergio Garcia told the European Tour. “It was a long week so I’m feeling a bit tired now, but I’m sure I’ll be ready to go tomorrow. Hopefully the course will play a little easier for us here and we can have a fun week!”
Joining world No.10 Garcia in action in Switzerland include Ryder Cup team-mates Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson, while American Patrick Reed is playing his first regular European Tour event since the 2011 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
David Lipsky will be aiming to become the first player since Seve Ballesteros in 1978 to defend the title after his play-off victory against Graeme Storm last year.
There are five Scots in the field, with Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson, Chris Doak, Craig Lee and David Drysdale all targeting Swiss glory.
Selected groups (local times)
7.55am – David Lipsky, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett
Lipsky’s win last year was his first on the European Tour and he comes into the event fresh from making the cut on his Open Championship debut, but finishing way down the field. Like Lipsky, Westwood is a past champion from way back in 1999 and also recorded a lowly finish out of those who made the cut at St Andrews, while Willett comes into the event in form after his sixth-placed finish at the Open.
8.05am – Jamie Donaldson, Patrick Reed, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Donaldson was consistent at St Andrews, failing to record a round over par but also failing to record a round in the 60s as he finished T49. After being due to play the Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship but withdrawing because of the illness of a relative, Reed makes a long-awaited return to European Tour action after a top 20 finish at the Open. Meanwhile, Shenzhen International winner Aphibarnrat will be looking to bounce back after his missed cut at the Open.
12.55pm – Thongchai Jaidee, Bernd Wiesberger, Sergio Garcia
World No.38 Jaidee was another low finisher out of those who made the cut at the Open but does have two runner-up spots on tour so far this season. Wiesberger was a winner as recently as three weeks ago at the French Open, while Garcia will be hoping his strong finish at the Home of Golf will be catapult him towards his second Omega European Masters title in 11 years.
Sergio Garcia :: Will he win?
Can Sergio Garcia add another European Tour title to his name this week? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.