PGA European - SAINT-OMER OPEN Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, June 14th through Sunday, June 17th
SITE: Aa Saint Omer Golf Club, Lumbres, France
COURSE ARCHITECT: Johan F. Dudock Van Heel (1990)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,835
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 392 Yds10 - Par 4 416 Yds
2 - Par 3 212 Yds11 - Par 3 195 Yds
3 - Par 4 427 Yds12 - Par 4 372 Yds
4 - Par 3 164 Yds13 - Par 4 439 Yds
5 - Par 4 326 Yds14 - Par 5 527 Yds
6 - Par 4 398 Yds15 - Par 4 470 Yds
7 - Par 5 570 Yds16 - Par 4 410 Yds
8 - Par 4 390 Yds17 - Par 3 184 Yds
9 - Par 5 504 Yds18 - Par 4 439 Yds
36 3,383 Yds35 3,452 Yds
Annual:  16th (13th on European Tour)
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Matthew Zions
Runner-Up:  Peter Gustafsson, Craig Lee, Daniel Denison
Tournament Record:  269 (Brett Rumford, 2003)
54-Hole Record:  200 (Sebastien Delagrange, 2001)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Sebastien Delagrange, 2001)
Course Record:  63 (Sebastien Delagrange, 2001 - Par 73)
  64 (Brett Rumford, 2003 - Par 71)
  (Jamie Little, 2006 - Par 71)
  (Christian Nilsson, 2008 - Par 71)
Total Purse:  $623,000 (500,000 euros)
Share:  1st Place - $103,612; 2nd Place - $69,070; 3rd Place - $38,918
2011 Finish
Matthew Zions276Lee Slattery284
Peter Gustafsson283Lorenzo Gagli284
Craig Lee283Anders S. Hansen284
Daniel Denison283Andrew Tampion284
Marco Ruiz284Andrea Perrino284
Jorge Campillo284
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Matthew Zions (276) -- Peter Gustafsson, Craig Lee, Daniel Denison
2010Martin Wiegele (277) -- Raphael Jacquelin, Jamie Elson, Pelle Edberg,
Robert Dinwiddie, Matt Haines
2009Christian Nilsson (271) -- Jose-Filipe Lima
2008David Dixon (279) -- Christian Nilsson
2007Carl Suneson (276) -- Francois Calmels, Peter Fowler, Marcus Higley
2006Cesar Monasterio (274) -- Henrik Nystrom, Martin Maritz
2005*Joakim Backstrom (280) -- Paul Dwyer
2004Jose-Filipe Lima (279) -- Alessandro Tadini
2003Brett Rumford (269) -- Ben Mason
2002Nicolas Vanhootegem (277) -- Gustavo Rojas, Lee S. James
2001Sebastien Delagrange (272) -- Jamie Donaldson
2000Pascal Edmond (274) -- Franck Aumonier
1999Alastair Forsyth (279)
1998#Shaun Webster (206)
1997Cedric Hoffstetter (284)

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain shortened

Note:Formerly called Aa St Omer Open (2000-06),
Part of French Tour (1997-99).

Top Contenders in the Field
Matthew Zions---68thT-23Won
Peter GustafssonmcT-43T-26T-2
Daniel Denison---74thT-26T-2
Craig Leemc------T-2
Jamie Elson------T-2T-12
David DixonWon---mcT-17
Carl Suneson---mcmcT-39
Steven O'Hara3rdT-10T-23T-50
Cesar MonasterioT-16T-43T-17T-61
Daniel Gaunt---------T-67
Pelle Edberg------T-2mc
Jose-Filipe Lima---2ndT-17mc
Stephen Dodd------------
Rafa Echenique------------
Peter Hedblom------------
David Howell------------
Oliver Wilson------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - George Coetzee
Darkhorse - David Dixon
Last Week's Pick to Win (Matteo Manassero) - Finished tied for 8th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Peter Whiteford) - Finished 4th
For the 10th consecutive season, the Saint-Omer Open is part of the European Tour schedule and is playing opposite the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. With that in mind, one of the weakest fields on tour will be assembled. To fill the competition, the field is a combination of European and Challenge Tour players. This is the only dual-ranking tournament of the 2012 season on the European Tour. Aa Saint Omer Golf Club has hosted since 2000. The winner receives a one-year exemption to the European Tour.

There are two former European Ryder Cup players in the field - David Howell and Oliver Wilson. Howell was a member of two victorious European teams in 2004 and 2006. He is a four-time winner on the European Tour. Wilson was a member of the 2008 European team.

Last year, Matthew Zions captured his first European Tour title after rounds of 68-72-67-69 gave him a seven-shot win. Zions, whose previous best finish was a share of ninth in two 2007 events, finished the tournament at eight- under 276 and was one of only four players who completed the event under par.

In 2010, Martin Wiegele closed with a three-under 68 in the final round to come from behind and win. Wiegele, who won for the first time on the European Tour, claimed a two-shot victory at seven-under-par 277. Raphael Jacquelin, Jamie Elson, Pelle Edberg, Robert Dinwiddie and Matt Haines shared second place.

Back in 2009, Christian Nilsson fired rounds of 68-69-65-69 to cruise to his first European Tour victory. The Swede was the only player in the field to post four rounds in the 60s and won the title at 13-under 271. Nilsson missed the tournament record by two strokes.

In 2008, David Dixon rallied from behind in the final round with a five-under 66 to collect his first European Tour win. The Englishman completed the event at five-under-par 279. After opening the week with a six-over 77, Dixon carded three straight rounds in the 60s to climb from a share of 105th after the opening round and into the winner's circle.

Carl Suneson earned his first European Tour victory in 2007. Suneson walked into the final round with a one-shot lead and his two-under-par 69 on the last day was good enough for a three-shot win. He finished at eight-under-par 276 to top Francois Calmels, Peter Fowler and Marcus Higley.

Argentina's Cesar Monasterio overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round in 2006 to collect his first European Tour victory. Monasterio posted a four- under 67 on the last day to finish at 10-under-par 274. He won by a shot over Martin Maritz and Henrik Nystrom. With his win, Monasterio became the oldest champion in event history at 42 years and 202 days old. He also became the oldest first-time winner in European Tour history.

The 2002 championship saw history made with Nicolas Vanhootegem claiming the title. After 36 holes, the Belgian made the halfway cut on the mark, with a score of 145 (plus-three). He then played the final two rounds in 10-under par, closing with a then course record 65 (minus-six). His 72-hole total of 277 (minus-seven) was enough for a four-shot victory over Gustavo Rojas and Lee James. Vanhootegem went into the record books as the first player from any of the three European tours to win after making the cut on the number.

There have been seven holes-in-one made in tournament history, with 2008 champion Dixon recording the last one in 2011 on the 17th hole in the final round.

In the nine years the tournament has been part of The European Tour International Schedule, all nine winners have made the SAINT-OMER OPEN their first European Tour victory - Brett Rumford (2003), Jose-Filipe Lima (2004), Joakim Backstrom (2005), Cesar Monasterio (2006), Carl Suneson (2007), David Dixon (2008), Christian Nilsson (2009), Martin Wiegele (2010) and Matthew Zions (2011).

The European Tour travels to Germany next week for the BMW International Open in Cologne, as Spain's Pablo Larrazabal defends his title.

06/12 12:45:50 ET

As of June 12, 2012, at 12:45 PM ET
The Sports Network, a STATS Company. All Rights Reserved.  home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments |