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

DATES: Thursday, June 17th through Sunday, June 20th
SITE: Aa Saint Omer Golf Club, Lumbres, France
COURSE ARCHITECT: Johan Frederik Dudock Van Heel (1990)
PAR: 73
YARDAGE: 6,884
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 422 Yds10 - Par 4 396 Yds
2 - Par 3 198 Yds11 - Par 3 217 Yds
3 - Par 4 347 Yds12 - Par 4 417 Yds
4 - Par 4 439 Yds13 - Par 3 170 Yds
5 - Par 5 531 Yds14 - Par 4 325 Yds
6 - Par 4 379 Yds15 - Par 5 477 Yds
7 - Par 5 575 Yds16 - Par 4 389 Yds
8 - Par 4 389 Yds17 - Par 3 191 Yds
9 - Par 5 500 Yds18 - Par 5 522 Yds
38 3,780 Yds35 3,104 Yds
Annual:  14th (11th on European Tour)
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Christian Nilsson (Not defending)
Runner-Up:  Jose-Filipe Lima
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:  $740,452 (600,000 euros)
Share:  1st Place - $123,406; 2nd Place - $82,263; 3rd Place - $46,351
2009 Finish
Christian Nilsson271Javier Colomo281
Jose-Filipe Lima277James Morrison282
Ake Nilsson281Andrew Tampion282
Lorenzo Gagli281Sion E. Bebb282
Richard McEvoy281Five players at283
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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

Top Contenders in the Field
Jose-Filipe LimaT-36Won------------2nd
Javi Colomo------------------T-3
Lorenzo Gagli------------------T-3
Ake Nilsson------------------T-3
Steven O'Haramc------------3rdT-10
Francois Calmels---------mcT-275thT-37
Cesar MonasterioT-8mcT-30Won---T-16T-43
Joakim Backstrom------WonT-53---74thmc
Carl SunesonmcT-4T-6---Won---mc
David DixonmcmcT-11T-6mcWon---
Raphael Jacquelin---------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Raphael Jacquelin
Darkhorse - Mark F. Haastrup
Last Week's Pick to Win (Robert Rock) - Finished 4th
Last Week's Darkhorse (David Lynn) - Finished tied for 43rd
For the eighth consecutive season, the SAINT-OMER OPEN is part of the European Tour schedule and is playing opposite the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in California. With that in mind, one of the weakest fields on tour will be assembled this week. To fill the competition, the field is a combination of European and Challenge Tour players. This is the only dual-ranking tournament of the 2010 season on the European Tour. The only player ranked in the top-200 of the world rankings is Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin at No. 154. Aa Saint Omer Golf Club has hosted this event since its inception in 2000. The winner of this event receives a one-year exemption to the European Tour.

Last year, Christian Nilsson fired rounds of 68-69-65-69 to cruise to his first European Tour victory at this event. 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, but it hardly mattered. He won the championship by a record six shots over Jose-Filipe Lima and was never threatened in the final round. Nilsson is not on hand this year to defend his title.

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.

In 2007, Carl Suneson earned his first European Tour victory when he captured this event. 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 at Saint Omer Golf Club.

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 the event 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 tours to win after making the cut on the cut score.

There have been five holes-in-one made at this event, with Clodomiro Carranza recording the last one in 2009 on the 17th hole in the first round.

The European Tour travels to Germany next week for the BMW International Open in Munich, as Nick Dougherty defends his title.

06/15 15:59:57 ET

As of June 15, 2010, at 04:00 PM ET