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PGA European - Omega European Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, September 3rd through Sunday, September 6th
SITE: Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club (Alpine Course), Crans Montana, Switzerland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Fremantle and Gedge (1908), M Nicholson (1929 - redesign),
         Seve Ballesteros (1999 - redesign)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,822
Hole-by-Hole1 - Par 5 540 Yds
2 - Par 4 437 Yds
3 - Par 3 191 Yds
4 - Par 4 503 Yds
5 - Par 4 339 Yds
6 - Par 4 324 Yds
7 - Par 4 331 Yds
8 - Par 3 175 Yds
9 - Par 5 629 Yds
36 3,469 Yds
10 - Par 4 405 Yds
11 - Par 3 205 Yds
12 - Par 4 410 Yds
13 - Par 3 199 Yds
14 - Par 5 595 Yds
15 - Par 5 516 Yds
16 - Par 3 235 Yds
17 - Par 4 386 Yds
18 - Par 4 402 Yds
35 3,353 Yds
Annual:  75th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 8-11 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Jean-Francois Lucquin
Runner-Up:  Rory McIlroy
Tournament Record:  260 (Colin Montgomerie, 1996)
54-Hole Record:  193 (Patrick Sjoland, 1998)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Sandy Lyle, 1983)
Course Record:  60 (Baldovino Bassu, 1971; Jamie Spence, 1992)
Total Purse:  $2,859,803 (2,000,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $476,628; 2nd Place - $317,752; 3rd Place - $179,023
2008 Finish
Jean-Francois Lucquin*271Julien Clement272
Rory McIlroy271Rafa Echenique273
Christian Cevaer272Juan Abbate273
Miguel Angel Jimenez272Robert Dinwiddie273
Gary Orr272Ross McGowan273

* - Won in Playoff

Past Omega European Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Jean-Francois Lucquin (271) -- Rory McIlroy
2007*Brett Rumford (268) -- Phillip Archer
2006Bradley Dredge (267) -- Francesco Molinari, Marcel Siem
2005Sergio Garcia (270) -- Peter Gustafsson
2004Luke Donald (265) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
2003Ernie Els (267) -- Michael Campbell
2002Robert Karlsson (270) -- Trevor Immelman, Paul Lawrie
2001Ricardo Gonzalez (268) -- Soren Hansen
2000Eduardo Romero (261) -- Thomas Bjorn
1999Lee Westwood (270) -- Thomas Bjorn
1998*Sven Struver (263) -- Patrik Sjoland
1997Costantino Rocca (266) -- Robert Karlsson, Scott Henderson
1996Colin Montgomerie (260) -- Sam Torrance
1995Mathias Gronberg (270) -- Costantino Rocca, Barry Lane
1994Eduardo Romero (266) -- Pierre Fulke
1993Barry Lane (270) -- Seve Ballesteros, Miguel Angel Jimenez
1992*Jamie Spence (271) -- Anders Forsbrand
1991Jeff Hawkes (268) -- Seve Ballesteros
1990Ronan Rafferty (267) -- John Bland
1989Seve Ballesteros (266) -- Craig Parry
1988Chris Moody (268) -- Seve Ballesteros, Anders Forsbrand, Ian Woosnam
1987Anders Forsbrand (263) -- Mark Mouland
1986Jose Maria Olazabal (262) -- Anders Forsbrand
1985Craig Stadler (267)
1984Jerry Anderson (261) -- Howard Clark
1983*Nick Faldo (268) -- Sandy Lyle
1982*Ian Woosnam (272) -- Bill Longmuir
1981*Manuel Pinero (277) -- Antonio Garrido, Tony Johnstone
1980Nick Price (267) -- Manuel Calero
1979Hugh Baiocchi (275) -- Antonio Garrido, Dale Hayes, Delio Lovato
1978Seve Ballesteros (272) -- Manuel Pinero
1977Seve Ballesteros (273) -- John Schroeder
1976Manuel Pinero (274) -- Dave Hill
1975Dale Hayes (273) -- Tienie Britz, Bernard Gallacher, Gary Player
1974Bob Charles (275) -- Tony Jacklin
1973Hugh Baiocchi (278) -- Eddie Polland, Jack Newton
1972Graham Marsh (270)
1971Peter Townsend (270) -- Manuel Ballesteros
1970Graham Marsh (274)
1969Roberto Bernardini (277)
1968Roberto Bernardini (272)
1967Randall Vines (272)
1966Alfonso Angelini (271)
1965#Harold Henning (208)
1964Harold Henning (276)
1963*Dai Rees (278)
1962*Bob Charles (272)
1961Kel Nagle (268)
1960Harold Henning (270)
1959Dai Rees (274)
1958Ken Bousfield (272)
1957Alfonso Angelini (270)
1956Dai Rees (278)
1955Flory van Donck (277)
1954Bobby Locke (276)
1953Flory van Donck (267)
1952Ugo Grappasonni (267)
1951Eric Brown (267)
1950Aldo Casera (276)
1949Marcel Dallemagne (270)
1948Ugo Grappasonni (285)
1947Not Held
1946Not Held
1945Not Held
1944Not Held
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Not Held
1940Not Held
1939Fifi Cavalo (273)
1938J. Saubaber (139)
1937M. Dallemagne (138)
1936@F. Francis (134)
1935Auguste Boyer (137)
1934Auguste Boyer (133)
1933Not Held
1932Not Held
1931M. Dallemagne (145)
1930Auguste Boyer (150)
1929A. Wilson (142)
1928Not Held
1927Not Held
1926Alex Ross (145)
1925Alex Ross (148)
1924P. Boomer (150)
1923Alex Ross (149)

* - Won in Playoff

# - 54 Holes

@ - Amateur

Note:Formerly called Swiss Open (1971-81), Ebel Swiss Masters (1982),
Ebel European Masters Swiss Open (1983-1990), Canon European Masters Swiss Open (1991), Canon European Masters (1992-2000).

Top Contenders in the Field
Jean-F. Lucquin---------T-34mcmcmcmcWon
Rory McIlroy------------------------2nd
Julien Clement---mcmcmcmc---mcT-48T-3
Miguel A. JimenezT-21T-4663rdT-82ndT-13T-37mcT-3
Christian Cevaer---T-58---T-39T-46T-17mcmcT-3
Gary Orr---T-3T-52mc77th---T-26---T-3
Ross McGowan------------------------T-7
Francesco Molinari---------------T-17T-2T-62T-11
Ricardo GonzalezT-42WonmcT-54T-37T-23T-26T-56T-19
Thongchai Jaidee------------T-74---------T-21
Brett RumfordT-34mcT-36mcT-56T-69T-44WonT-23
Michael CampbellT-10---T-102ndT-56------mcT-23
Niclas Fasth4th------------------mcT-23
Simon Dyson------T-4T-39T-16T-69T-12---T-32
Martin Erlandsson------------mcT-56T-7mcT-44
Felipe Aguilar---------T-39------mc---T-47
Bradley DredgemcmcT-4---T-20T-15Won3rdT-55
Raphael JacquelinT-28T-10T-52T-15---mcT-48mcT-64
Phillip Archer---------------76thT-122ndmc
Johan Edfors------------T-26---T-12T-20mc
Marcel Siem------T-60mc------T-2T-25mc
Simon Wakefield---------mcT-56mcT-12T-37mc
Gregory Havret---mcmcmc---mcT-62---mc
Marc Warren------mc---------T-4mcmc
Pablo Larrazabal------------------------mc
Chris Wood------------------------mc
Oliver Wilson---------------T-23T-175th---
Lee WestwoodT-21T-16mc------------T-6---
Graeme McDowell---------mc6th---T-4411th---
Jeev Milkha Singh---------------------T-31---
Trevor Immelman---T-46T-2T-26---------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Lee Westwood
Darkhorse - Martin Erlandsson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Simon Dyson) - Finished tied for 56th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ignacio Garrido) - Missed the cut
The European Tour travels to Switzerland this week for the Omega European Masters. Five of the top-50 players in the world are in the field this week - Lee Westwood (10), Rory McIlroy (24), Miguel Angel Jimenez (39), Jeev Milkha Singh (43) and Graeme McDowell (46). Westwood and McIlroy tied for third at the PGA Championship three weeks ago and McDowell tied for 10th.

Last year, Jean-Francois Lucquin birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Rory McIlroy and win. McIlroy led by one on the 18th hole. He knocked his approach just off the back edge and chipped inside four feet. McIlroy missed the par putt to force the playoff with Lucquin. Lucquin closed with a four- under 67 to end at 13-under-par 271, while McIlroy's bogey gave him a closing 71 at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. They both two-putted for par on No. 18, the first playoff hole. They played the 18th a second time and McIlroy's putting woes reappeared. Both players found the green with their approach shots to the par four. McIlroy putted first from about 30 feet. His putt slid by the left edge and rolled two feet away. McIlroy missed the kick-in par to open the door for Lucquin. The Frenchman slammed the door shut as he rolled in his 12-footer for birdie and his first European Tour title. Lucquin will try to become the first back-to-back winner of this event since Seve Ballesteros captured two straight in 1977-78.

In 2007, Brett Rumford chipped in for a birdie at the first playoff hole to beat Phillip Archer. Rumford's chip-in birdie ended the first playoff at this event since Sven Struver beat Patrik Sjoland in extra holes in 1998. It was his third European Tour win, and first since the 2004 Nissan Irish Open.

In 2006, Bradley Dredge was the only player to fire four rounds in the 60s, as he won by eight strokes over Francesco Molinari and Marcel Siem. He ended at 17-under-par 267 and collected his second tour win. Dredge claimed his first win at the 2003 Madeira Island Open.

In 2005, Sergio Garcia opened with rounds of 66-65 and held on for a one- stroke win over Peter Gustafsson. Garcia closed with a three-under 68 to end the tournament at 14-under-par 270 at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Crans-sur-Sierre has hosted this event since 1939 with this edition the 63rd held at this site. The course is the most used venue for a regular European Tour event.

Five players have won this event three times; Alex Ross, Auguste Boyer, Dai Rees, Harold Henning and Ballesteros. There have been four wire-to-wire winners since 1980, most recently in 2002 when Robert Karlsson won the title.

The Omega European Masters has witnessed a number of scoring records in its distinguished history. In 1978, Spain's Jose Maria Canizares became the first player to shoot 27 for nine holes. On his way to victory in 1996, Colin Montgomerie produced the lowest 36 holes in tour history, shooting 124 (-18) in rounds three and four to beat Sam Torrance by four shots. Anders Forsbrand's scoring in 1987 was even more remarkable when the Swede covered the last 54 holes in 192 (-24) - breaking tour records for the lowest final 54 holes and the lowest final 54 in relation to par.

Canadian Jerry Anderson etched his name into the record books with his wire- to-wire win in 1984. His 72-hole score of 27-under still stands as the lowest total to par and gave him his maiden victory. Montgomerie owns the record for the lowest total score of 260 shot in 1996. One of the most spectacular finishes ever seen on The European Tour took place in 1992 when Jamie Spence started the final round 10 behind. Courtesy of his last-day 60, it enabled him to defeat Forsbrand in a playoff to equal the biggest final-round comeback by a winner, first set by Neil Coles at the 1977 Tournament Players' Championship. Paul Lawrie also came from 10 back on the final day when he won the British Open Championship in 1999.

The European Tour heads to Germany next week for the Mercedes-Benz Championship, where Robert Karlsson captured the title last year.

09/01 14:54:28 ET

As of September 1, 2009, at 02:54 PM ET

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