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PGA European - Ballantine's Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 26th
SITE: Pinx Golf Club, Jeju Island, South Korea
COURSE ARCHITECT: Theodore G. Robinson (1999), Robin Nelson (2007 - redesign)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,345
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 385 yds10 - Par 5 543 yds
2 - Par 3 187 yds11 - Par 4 421 yds
3 - Par 4 381 yds12 - Par 4 463 yds
4 - Par 5 543 yds13 - Par 4 408 yds
5 - Par 3 202 yds14 - Par 3 201 yds
6 - Par 4 460 yds15 - Par 4 436 yds
7 - Par 4 468 yds16 - Par 5 563 yds
8 - Par 4 423 yds17 - Par 3 214 yds
9 - Par 5 557 yds18 - Par 4 490 yds
--------------------------
36 3,606 Yds36 3,739 Yds
 
Annual:  2nd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 pm (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Graeme McDowell
Runner-Up:  Jeev Milkha Singh
Tournament Record:  264 (Graeme McDowell, Jeev Milkha Singh, 2008)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Graeme McDowell, Jeev Milkha Singh, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Graeme McDowell, 2008)
18-Hole Record:  64 (Graeme McDowell, Jeev Milkha Singh, 2008)
Total Purse:  $2,713,662
Shares:  1st Place - $452,277; 2nd Place - $301,513; 3rd Place - $169,883
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Graeme McDowell *264Johan Edfors274
Jeev Milkha Singh264Anthony Kim274
Paul McGinley271Oliver Wilson275
Shingo Katayama273Phillip Archer276
Thomas Bjorn274Kane Webber276

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Ballantine's Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Graeme McDowell (264) -- Jeev Milkha Singh

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2008
Graeme McDowellWon
Paul McGinley3rd
Johan EdforsT-5
Jyoti RandhawaT-11
Mikko IlonenT-24
Prayad MarksaengT-24
Damien McGraneT-24
Scott Strangemc
Fred Couples---
Ernie Els---
G. Fdez-Castano---
Henrik Stenson---
Lee Westwood---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Henrik Stenson
Darkhorse - Mark Brown
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Gonzalo Fernandez z-Castano) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Gregory Bourdy) - Finished tied for 57th
 
NOTES:
The European Tour travels to Jeju Island, South Korea this week for the Ballantine's Championship at Pinx Golf Club. The field is highlighted by three of the top-16 players in the world - Henrik Stenson (9), Lee Westwood (15) and Ernie Els (16). United States Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples is also in the field.

Last year, Graeme McDowell birdied the third playoff hole to beat Jeev Milkha Singh at the Ballantine's Championship. After falling behind Singh early in the final round, McDowell rebounded with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine to match his playing partner with a six-under 66. McDowell trailed by as many as three shots on the front nine and never led Singh in regulation. Singh bogeyed the 17th hole to even the score, the second time in the last four holes he lost sole possession of the lead. The players finished regulation tied at 24-under 264.

All three extra holes were played at the par-four 18th -- a tough 490-yard challenge that McDowell and Singh had played at a combined four-over par through four rounds of regulation. Both players made two-putt pars there on the first playoff hole. McDowell gained an advantage on the second hole when Singh hit into a bunker, but Singh rolled in a 15-foot par putt to extend the session. Singh knocked his approach to six feet at the third playoff hole, but McDowell was better, sticking his just two feet from the cup. After Singh pushed his birdie putt to the right of the cup, McDowell holed his short try for the win. It was his third European Tour victory, and first since 2004. Singh had 30 birdies over the four rounds of the tournament last year, the most by any player in any event during the 2008 European Tour season.

This event is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Korean PGA Tour. Last year was the first time that the European Tour had played in South Korea. Korea was the 38th different nation to host a European Tour event and the 10th Asian country.

The European Tour moves to the Spain next week for the Open de Espana in Girona, where Peter Lawrie will defend his title.

04/21 14:48:57 ET

As of April 21, 2009, at 02:49 PM ET

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