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PGA European - Open de Espana Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, April 30th through Sunday, May 3rd
SITE: PGA Golf de Catalunya (Stadium Course), Girona, Spain
COURSE ARCHITECT: Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo (1999)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,172
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 435 Yds10 - Par 4 432 Yds
2 - Par 4 383 Yds11 - Par 3 188 Yds
3 - Par 5 531 Yds12 - Par 5 527 Yds
4 - Par 4 411 Yds13 - Par 4 397 Yds
5 - Par 3 208 Yds14 - Par 4 443 Yds
6 - Par 4 411 Yds15 - Par 5 492 Yds
7 - Par 5 542 Yds16 - Par 3 200 Yds
8 - Par 3 185 Yds17 - Par 4 460 Yds
9 - Par 4 478 Yds18 - Par 4 449 Yds
36 3,584 Yds36 3,588 Yds
Annual:  83rd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  Saturday/Sunday -- 8:30-11:30 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Peter Lawrie
Runner-Up:  Ignacio Garrido
Tournament Record:  262 (Mark James, 1988)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Mark James, 1988)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Richard Boxall, 1988)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Wayne Riley, 1988 - Pedrena Golf Club)
Total Purse:  $2,605,039
Shares:  1st Place - $434,168; 2nd Place - $289,445; 3rd Place - $163,093
2008 Finish
Peter Lawrie *273Alfredo Garcia-Heredia275
Ignacio Garrido273Richard Finch276
Soren Hansen274Peter Hanson277
Miguel Angel Jimenez275Martin Erlandsson277
David Lynn275Five players at278

* - Won in Playoff

Past Open de Espana Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Peter Lawrie (273) -- Ignacio Garrido
2007Charl Schwartzel (272) -- Jyoti Randhawa
2006*Niclas Fasth (270) -- John Bickerton
2005*Peter Hanson (280) -- Peter Gustafsson
2004Christian Cevaer (271) -- David Park, Ricardo Gonzalez, Peter Hedblom
2003*Kenneth Ferrie (266) -- Peter Lawrie, Peter Hedblom
2002Sergio Garcia (275) - Emanuele Canonica
2001Robert Karlsson (277) -- Jean-Francois Remesy
2000Brian Davis (274) -- Markus Brier
1999Jarmo Sandelin (267) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul McGinley,
Ignacio Garrido
1998Thomas Bjorn (267) -- Greg Chalmers, Jose Maria Olazabal
1997*Mark James (277) -- Greg Norman
1996Padraig Harrington (272) -- Gordon Brand Jr
1995Seve Ballesteros (274) -- Jose Rivero, Ignacio Garrido
1994Colin Montgomerie (277) -- Richard Boxall, Mark Roe, Mark McNulty
1993Joakim Haeggman (275) -- Nick Faldo, Ernie Els
1992Andrew Sherborne (271) -- Nick Faldo
1991*Eduardo Romero (275) -- Seve Ballesteros
1990Rodger Davis (277) -- Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Peter Fowler
1989Bernhard Langer (281) -- Paul Carrigill, Jose Maria Canizares
1988Mark James (262) -- Nick Faldo
1987Nick Faldo (286) -- Hugh Baiocchi, Seve Ballesteros
1986Howard Clark (272) -- Ian Baker-Finch
1985Seve Ballesteros (266) -- Gordon Brand Jr
1984Bernhard Langer (275) -- Howard Clark
1983Eamonn Darcy (277) -- Manuel Pinero
1982Sam Torrance (273) -- Roger Chapman, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam
1981Seve Ballesteros (273) -- Steve Martin
1980Eddie Polland (276) -- Seve Ballesteros, Mark James
1979Dale Hayes (278) -- Brian Barnes
1978Brian Barnes (276) -- Howard Clark
1977Bernard Gallacher (277) -- Francisco Abreu
1976Eddie Polland (282) -- Bob Shearer
1975Arnold Palmer (283) -- John Fourie
1974Jerry Heard (279) -- Gary Player
1973Neil Coles (282) -- Tienie Britz, Craig Defoy
1972*Antonio Garrido (293) -- Valentin Barrios
1971Dale Hayes (275) -- Roberto de Vicenzo
1970Angel Gallardo (284)
1969Jean Garaialde (283)
1968R.Shaw (286)
1967Sebastian Miguel (265)
1966Roberto de Vicenzo (279)
1965Not Held
1964Angel Miguel (272)
1963Ramon Sota (287)
1962Not Held
1961Angel Miguel (267)
1960Sebastian Miguel (286)
1959Peter Thomson (286)
1958Peter Alliss (268)
1957Max Faulkner (283)
1956Peter Alliss (285)
1955(a) H. de Lamaze (271)
1954Sebastian Miguel (268)
1953Max Faulkner (NA)
1952Max Faulkner (275)
1951M.Provencio (281)
1950A.Cerda (NA)
1949M.Morcillo (280)
1948M.Morcillo (268)
1947(a) M.Gonzalez (272)
1946M.Morcillo (281)
1945C.Celles (274)
1944N.Sagardia (NA)
1943M.Provencio (286)
1942G.Gonzalez (264)
1941M.Provencio (283)
1940Not Held
1939Not Held
1938Not Held
1937Not Held
1936Not Held
1935Angel de la Torre (NA)
1934J.Bernardino (NA)
1933Gabriel Gonzalez (NA)
1932Gabriel Gonzalez (NA)
1931Not Held
1930J.Bernardino (NA)
1929E.Lafitte (NA)
1928Arnaud Massy (NA)
1927Arnaud Massy (NA)
1926J.Bernardino (NA)
1925Angel de la Torre (NA)
1924Not Held
1923Angel de la Torre (NA)
1922Not Held
1921E.Lafitte (NA)
1920Not Held
1919Angel de la Torre (NA)
1918Not Held
1917Angel de la Torre (NA)
1916Angel de la Torre (NA)
1915Not Held
1914Not Held
1913Not Held
1912Arnaud Massy (NA)
Note:Formerly called Andalucia Open de Espana Valle Romano (2006), Jazztel
Open de Espana en Andalucia (2005), Canarias Open de Espana (2002-04), Via Digital Open de Espana (2001), Peugeot Open de Espana (1994, 97-2000), Peugeot Spanish Open (1986-93, 95-96), Benson & Hedges Spanish Open (1980-85), Spanish Open (1971-79).

Top Contenders in the Field
Peter Lawrie------T-2mcT-3T-32T-20Won
Ignacio GarridoT-58T-38mc---mcT-56T-522nd
Soren HansenT-3T-38T-26---mc------3rd
David LynnT-49T-26mcT-16T-37---T-20T-4
Miguel A. JimenezT-3T-18T-19------T-39T-52T-4
Niclas Fasthmc---------T-67WonT-31T-10
Carlos RodilesT-75T-31mcT-59mcmc3rdT-22
Jose Manuel LaraT-32mcwdT-7T-12T-3wdT-32
Paul McGinley------T-10---T-8---T-17T-37
Alvaro Quiros------T-63---mcT-39mcT-37
Anthony Wall------T-10mcmc------T-37
Stephen GallacherT-42mcmcT-16T-21mcT-8T-58
Colin Montgomerie---------------T-28---T-70
Charl Schwartzel------T-6T-7mcT-14Wonmc
Gregory Bourdy------------T-51mcT-8mc
Alastair ForsythT-64mc---T-49mcmcT-8mc
Steve WebsterT-16---T-32mcT-41T-62T-58mc
Maarten LafebermcmcmcT-64mcT-45mcmc
Thomas Levetmc------74th---------mc
John Daly---------------------mc
Christian CevaerT-49---mcWonmc---mc---
Soren KjeldsenT-23T-26T-63T-27T-21T-32------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Paul McGinley
Darkhorse - Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Last Week's Pick to Win (Henrik Stenson) - Finished tied for 52nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Mark Brown) - Finished tied for 19th
The Spanish Open heads to Girona and the PGA Golf de Catalunya for the first time since 2000, as Peter Lawrie attempts to become the first back-to-back winner in 56 years. Sixteen of the top-50 players on the European Tour Order of Merit are in the field this week. Spain's Alvaro Quiros, is the highest- ranked player in the field at No. 25 in the world. American John Daly is also teeing it up this week. Daly, winner of the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open, has not played since November.

Last year, Peter Lawrie won his first European Tour title at the Open de Espana when Ignacio Garrido's approach on the second playoff hole found water. Lawrie, who lost a playoff in this event in 2003, only needed a par on the second extra hole to secure the victory. Lawrie fired a five-under 67 in the final round, while Garrido could only muster an even-par 72. The tandem finished regulation at 15-under-par 273. The 2008 playoff was the seventh in tournament history and fourth in the last six years.

In 2007, Charl Schwartzel eagled the 16th hole and shot a five-under 67 in the final round of the Open de Espana to beat Jyoti Randhawa by a stroke and claim his second European Tour title. The South African set up his 15-foot eagle putt at the 16th with a spectacular three-iron shot he blasted more than 230 yards into the wind at the end of a long day. Schwartzel was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s as he finished at 16-under-par 272. His first European Tour title came in December, 2004 at the dunhill championship in his native South Africa when he was only 20 years old.

In 2006, Niclas Fasth birdied the fourth sudden-death playoff hole to make up for a late-round collapse and beat John Bickerton for the victory at the Open de Espana. Fasth held a two-shot lead through 16 holes, but closed his final round with consecutive bogeys to finish with a three-under 69. That put him at 18-under-par 270, which is where Bickerton was in the clubhouse after a course record-tying 63 at San Roque Club in Cadiz. Both players parred the first three playoff holes -- each played at the 18th -- before Fasth rolled in a five-foot birdie putt at the ninth hole to wrap up the title. Fasth became the fifth Swedish player to capture the Open de Espana, joining Joakim Haeggman (1993), Jarmo Sandelin (1999), Robert Karlsson (2001) and Peter Hanson (2005).

In 2003 at Golf Costa Adeje, the cut at this event was 138 (-6), which set a European Tour record for lowest 36-hole cut. That mark was tied at the 2005 TCL Classic.

In 2002, Sergio Garcia became only the third Spaniard to win their national title since the birth of The European Tour, joining Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido.

Max Faulkner was the last player to win this event two straight years, accomplishing the feat in 1952-53. Ballesteros is a three-time winner of this event, which began in 1912, and has been runner-up three times. The European Tour's all-time wins leader's last victory came at this event in 1995.

When Neil Coles captured the event in 1973, he became the only wire-to-wire winner of the tournament. Arnold Palmer's victory in 1975 made him the oldest champion of this event at 45 years and 221 days. Dale Hayes was the youngest winner when he won in 1971 at 18 years and 290 days.

The Open de Espana is an event rich in tradition. Started in 1912, it is the fifth oldest national Open Championship in Europe. In 1972, the Open de Espana became the first official European Tour event. It was staged at Pals and won by Antonio Garrido, who overcame Valentin Barrios in a playoff.

Next up for the European Tour will be the BMW Italian Open in Torino, where Hennie Otto will defend his title.

04/28 15:19:13 ET

As of April 28, 2009, at 03:19 PM ET

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