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

DATES: Thursday, April 26th through Sunday, April 29th
SITE: Blackstone Golf Club (North and West Nines), Seoul, South Korea
COURSE ARCHITECT: JMP Design (2010)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,237
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 585 yds10 - Par 4 444 yds
2 - Par 4 420 yds11 - Par 4 412 yds
3 - Par 3 190 yds12 - Par 4 448 yds
4 - Par 4 389 yds13 - Par 3 223 yds
5 - Par 5 536 yds14 - Par 4 357 yds
6 - Par 4 373 yds15 - Par 5 619 yds
7 - Par 3 238 yds16 - Par 3 189 yds
8 - Par 4 424 yds17 - Par 4 420 yds
9 - Par 4 425 yds18 - Par 5 545 yds
--------------------------
36 3,580 Yds36 3,657 Yds
 
Annual:  5th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Lee Westwood (Not defending)
Runner-Up:  Miguel Angel Jimenez
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)
Course Record:  63 (Brett Rumford, 2011)
Total Purse:  $2,910,614 (2,205,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $480,289; 2nd Place - $320,192; 3rd Place - $180,396
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Lee Westwood276Soon-Sang Hong280
Miguel Angel Jimenez277Brett Rumford281
Sang-Hyun Park278James Morrison281
Dustin Johnson279Jbe Kruger281
Alexander Noren280Three players at282
 
Past Ballantine's Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Lee Westwood (276) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
2010#Marcus Fraser (204) -- Brett Rumford, Gareth Maybin
2009*Thongchai Jaidee (284) -- Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Sung-Hoon Kang
2008*Graeme McDowell (264) -- Jeev Milkha Singh

* - Won in Playoff

# - Weather-shortened

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2008200920102011
Miguel A. Jimenez---------2nd
Alexander Noren------T-60T-5
Brett Rumford---T-15T-2T-7
K.T. KimT-62mcT-16T-10
Gareth Maybin---T-27T-2T-13
Robert-Jan Derksen---T-4T-6T-13
Jamie Donaldson------T-6T-13
Shane Lowry------T-40T-13
Marcus Fraser---T-34WonT-27
Wen-Chong LiangmcwdT-66T-27
Thongchai Jaidee---WonT-9T-41
Mardan MamatT-50T-8T-6T-64
Y.E. YangT-43---mcmc
Ian Poulter---------mc
Sang-moon Bae------------
Paul Casey------------
Darren Clarke------------
Adam Scott------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Adam Scott
Darkhorse - Victor Dubuisson
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ian Poulter) - Finished tied for 29th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Hennie Otto) - Withdrew after 1st round
 
NOTES:
The European Tour travels to Seoul, South Korea this week for the Ballantine's Championship at Blackstone Golf Club. The field is highlighted by Australian Adam Scott and Englishman Ian Poulter. Scott, who is playing in this event for the first time, is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 12 in the world. He is playing for the first time since finishing tied for eighth at the Masters three weeks ago.

The Korean contingent is led by Sang-moon Bae, K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang. Bae has two top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2012, including a tie for second at the Transitions Championship. He is the highest-ranked Korean in the world at No. 32. Kim played on the 2011 International Presidents Cup team and is ranked 48th in the world. Yang, who is 59th in the world, became the first Korean to capture a major title when he won the 2009 PGA Championship.

This tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Korean PGA Tour. The 2008 event was the first time that the European Tour had played in South Korea. Korea became the 38th different nation to host a European Tour event and the 10th Asian country. Blackstone Golf Club was designed by JMP Design and opened for play in 2010. It was named the best new course in South Korea for 2010-11.

Last year, Lee Westwood erased a three-stroke deficit in the final round to come from behind and win. Westwood closed with a five-under 67 to finish at 12-under-par 276 for his 21st European Tour victory.

In 2009, Thongchai Jaidee birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Sung-Hoon Kang for his fourth European Tour title and second of 2009. Jaidee won despite carding a five-over 77 in the third round. He opened the tournament with a 66 and finished at four-under-par 284 with Fernandez-Castano and Kang.

Graeme McDowell birdied the third playoff hole in 2008 to beat Jeev Milkha Singh. The players finished regulation tied at 24-under 264. It was McDowell's third European Tour victory, and first since 2004.

The first two years of the tournament (2008-09) ended in playoffs. It was the first time in European Tour history that a tournament has been decided by a playoff in its first two years.

The European Tour moves to Spain next week for the Reale Seguros Open de Espana in Seville, where Thomas Aiken will defend his title.

04/24 16:08:25 ET

As of April 24, 2012, at 04:08 PM ET

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