Sun Sentinel
European Golf Tour
PGA European - Madeira Islands Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 19th through Sunday, May 22nd
SITE: Porto Santo Golfe, Madeira, Portugal
COURSE ARCHITECT: Seve Ballesteros (2004)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,047
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 471 Yds10 - Par 5 535 Yds
2 - Par 4 452 Yds11 - Par 4 339 Yds
3 - Par 5 539 Yds12 - Par 5 534 Yds
4 - Par 4 434 Yds13 - Par 3 200 Yds
5 - Par 3 166 Yds14 - Par 4 393 Yds
6 - Par 5 544 Yds15 - Par 3 128 Yds
7 - Par 3 224 Yds16 - Par 4 492 Yds
8 - Par 5 569 Yds17 - Par 3 217 Yds
9 - Par 3 207 Yds18 - Par 5 603 Yds
36 3,606 Yds36 3,441 Yds
Annual:  19th
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  James Morrison
Runner-Up:  Oliver Fisher
Tournament Record:  268 (James Morrison, 2010)
54-Hole Record:  198 (James Morrison, 2010)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Niclas Fasth, 2001; James Morrison, 2010)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Stephen Scahill, 1998 - Santo de Serra)
  60 (Bradley Dredge, 2003 - Preferred lies - Santo de Serra)
Course Record:  64 (Richard Bland, Callum Macaulay, 2009)
Total Purse:  $992,067 (700,000 euros)
Share:  1st Place - $164,755; 2nd Place - $109,832; 3rd Place - $61,885
2010 Finish
James Morrison268Gary Clark277
Oliver Fisher269Michael Hoey277
George Murray274George Coetzee277
Charles-Edouard Russo275Jean-Baptiste Gonnet278
Alessandro Tadini276John Parry278
Past Madeira Islands Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2010James Morrison (268) -- Oliver Fisher
2009Tano Goya (278) -- Callum Macaulay
2008*Alastair Forsyth (273) -- Hennie Otto
2007Daniel Vancsik (270) -- David Frost, Santiago Luna
2006Jean Van de Velde (273) -- Lee Slattery
2005Robert-Jan Derksen (275) -- Andrew McLardy, Gary Orr
2004Christopher Hanell (284) -- Steven Jeppesen, Brad Kennedy, Rob Rashell
2003Bradley Dredge (272) -- Brian Davis, Andrew Marshall, Fredrik Andersson
2002Diego Borrego (281) -- Marten Lafeber, Ivo Giner
2001Des Smyth (270) -- John Bickerton
2000Niclas Fasth (279) -- Ross Drummond, Mark Davis, Richard S. Johnson
1999Pedro Linhart (276) -- Mark James
1998Mats Lanner (277) -- Stephen Scahill
1997#Peter Mitchell (204) -- Fredrik Jacobson
1996Jarmo Sandelin (279) -- Paul Affleck
1995Santiago Luna (272) -- Christian Cevaer
1994#Mats Lanner (206) -- Howard Clark, Peter Hedblom, Mathias Gronberg
1993Mark James (281) -- Gordon J. Brand, Paul Broadhurst

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Top Contenders in the Field
James Morrison---------------------Won
Oliver Fisher------------mc------2nd
George Murray------------mcT-34mc3rd
Michael Hoey------mcwd------6thT-6
George Coetzee---------------------T-6
Callum Macaulay------------------2ndT-44
Jarmo SandelinT-52T-70T-13T-7mcwdT-12T-58
Paul BroadhurstT-14T-14------------T-23---
Daniel Vancsik---mcwdmcWon---mc---
Alastair Forsyth---------T-28---Won------
Markus BrierT-46T-7T-32mc---T-15------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Alastair Forsyth
Darkhorse - Carlos Del Moral
Last Week's Pick to Win (Paul Lawrie) - Finished tied for 5th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Romain Wattel) - Missed the cut
There's good news and bad news surrounding this event. The good news, winners of this tournament are generally first-time champions, which leads us to the bad news. The reason being is that the field for this event usually does not include the top players on the European Tour, as they are competing at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain. Last year, this event was up against the Masters and, in 2009, it was the same week as the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Only one player in the top-200 of the world rankings is scheduled to compete - George Coetzee of South Africa, who is ranked 191st. This is the third year that Porto Santo Golf Club will host the event. The course opened in 2004 and was designed by the late golf legend, Seve Ballesteros.

Five past winners are expected to play this week, as James Morrison (2010), Alastair Forsyth (2008), Daniel Vancsik (2007), Jarmo Sandelin (1996) and Santiago Luna (1995) are in the field. Nine of the past champions have made this tournament their maiden victory.

Last year, Morrison birdied the final hole of the tournament to collect his first European Tour title. Morrison shot rounds of 67-65-66-70 to finish at 20-under-par 268 and win by a single stroke over Oliver Fisher. The Englishman established new 36-hole and 54-hole records and set a new tournament record by two strokes. Des Smyth had the old mark of 270 back in 2001.

In 2009, Tano Goya held off Callum Macaulay to win, carding rounds of 68-68-69-73 to claim his first European Tour victory. Goya, a 20-year-old Argentine who was the top money winner on the Latin American tour in 2008, escaped with a one-shot win over a hard-charging Macaulay despite making a double-bogey on the 16th hole. The young winner finished four rounds at Porto Santo Golfe at six-under 278 -- one of just eight players to finish under-par on the tough Ballesteros-designed course. Macaulay fired a course- record-tying, seven-under 64 to climb from a tie for 10th into solo second place at five-under 279. His final-round score was almost 10 shots better than the day's average -- due almost entirely to a stunning back-nine finish. The Scotsman birdied eight of his last nine holes -- including six in a row to end the round -- to shoot a 28 on the back side. Amazingly, Macaulay was 11 shots off the lead when he reached the No. 10 tee. Goya became the youngest champion in tournament history at 20 years and 294 days and the youngest player from Argentina to win on the European Tour.

In 2008, Forsyth erased a five-shot deficit in the final round, then beat third-round leader Hennie Otto in a playoff for his second European Tour win. Forsyth and Otto had met 12 years earlier in a playoff to decide the 1996 Scottish Amateur, which the Scotsman Forsyth won on the ninth extra hole. The 2008 playoff was the first extra session in tournament history.

In 2007, Vancsik fired four rounds in the 60s to run away and win by seven strokes over David Frost and 1995 champion Luna. Vancsik closed with his third four-under 68 of the week to complete his first European Tour win at 18-under-par 270.

Jean Van de Velde survived a double-bogey in 2006 on the 18th hole to win by one shot over Lee Slattery, shooting a final-round, four-under 68 for his second European Tour title. Van de Velde finished a runner-up each of the previous three times he enjoyed at least a share of the third-round lead, a dubious streak that included his infamously bizarre collapse at the 1999 British Open. The Frenchman nearly found himself in similar waters in 2006 in the final round. After leading by as many as five shots in the round, Van de Velde headed to the 18th tee nearly guaranteed a win. But after an errant drive, he hit into the tall grass on his second shot, came up short of the green on a pitch, and then knocked his fourth 15 feet past the hole. Two putts later, the drama was over as he tapped in for double-bogey and the one-shot victory. His only other title prior to this one came the first time he held a third-round lead -- at the 1993 Roma Masters. Van de Velde waited 12 years and 342 days for his second victory. That gap is the third-longest between wins in European Tour history.

There have been only two wire-to-wire champions: Luna (1995) and Niclas Fasth (2000). Players from Sweden have fared well here, winning on five occasions, with Christopher Hanell (2004) being the last. Mats Lanner of Sweden is the only two-time winner, capturing the title in 1994 and 1998.

When Des Smyth captured the 2001 tournament, he became the oldest player to win a European Tour event at 48 years and 34 days -- 22 days older than Neil Coles when he won the 1982 Sanyo Open.

Bradley Dredge posted the largest margin of victory in event history when he won in 2003 Dredge cruised to an eight-shot advantage over three players for his maiden win.

The European Tour travels to England next week for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, where Simon Khan will defend his title.

05/17 17:13:02 ET

As of May 17, 2011, at 05:13 PM ET