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

DATES: Thursday, May 10th through Sunday, May 13th
SITE: Santo de Serra, Madeira, Portugal
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1991)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,825
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 398 Yds10 - Par 4 395 Yds
2 - Par 4 441 Yds11 - Par 5 572 Yds
3 - Par 5 521 Yds12 - Par 4 315 Yds
4 - Par 3 202 Yds13 - Par 4 461 Yds
5 - Par 4 412 Yds14 - Par 4 358 Yds
6 - Par 4 364 Yds15 - Par 3 187 Yds
7 - Par 5 538 Yds16 - Par 5 556 Yds
8 - Par 3 168 Yds17 - Par 3 166 Yds
9 - Par 4 385 Yds18 - Par 4 386 Yds
36 3,429 Yds36 3,396 Yds
Annual:  20th
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Michael Hoey (Not defending)
Runner-Up:  Chris Gane, Jamie Elson
Tournament Record:  268 (James Morrison, 2010)
54-Hole Record:  198 (James Morrison, 2010)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Niclas Fasth, 2001; James Morrison, 2010)
Course Record:  61 (Stephen Scahill, 1998 - Santo de Serra)
  60 (Bradley Dredge, 2003 - Preferred lies - Santo de Serra)
Total Purse:  $880,976 (675,000 euros)
Share:  1st Place - $146,829; 2nd Place - $97,886; 3rd Place - $55,149
2011 Finish
Michael Hoey278Federico Colombo282
Chris Gane280Markus Brier283
Jamie Elson280Magnus A. Carlsson283
Jose-Filipe Lima282Colm Moriarty283
Lloyd Saltman282Six players at284
Past Madeira Islands Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Michael Hoey (278) -- Chris Gane, Jamie Elson
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
Jamie Elson---T-25---------------T-19T-2
Chris GaneT-52T-55mc---mcmcmcT-25T-2
Jose-Filipe Lima---T-29mcT-54mcT-38T-12T-55T-4
Federico Colombo------------------mcT-58T-4
Lloyd Saltman---------------------mcT-4
Markus BrierT-46T-7T-32mc---T-15------T-7
Alastair Forsyth---------T-28---Won------T-10
Jarmo SandelinT-52T-70T-13T-7mcwdT-12T-58T-56
Daniel Vancsik---mcwdmcWon---mc---mc
Niclas Fasth---------T-17------T-31------
Bradley DredgeWonT-14---T-28T-15T-15T-38------
Oliver Wilson------mcT-21T-25------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Markus Brier
Darkhorse - Jarmo Sandelin
Last Week's Pick to Win (George Coetzee) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Alexander Noren) - 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 tournament usually does not include the top players on the European Tour, as they are competing at The Players Championship in the United States. Last year, this event was up against the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Only one player in the top-200 of the world rankings is scheduled to compete - Tommy Fleetwood of England, who is ranked 192nd. This is the first year the event is being held at Santo de Serra since 2008. Alastair Forsyth won in 2008 and is in the field this week.

Six past winners are expected to play, as Forsyth (2008), Daniel Vancsik (2007), Bradley Dredge (2003), Niclas Fasth (2000), Jarmo Sandelin (1996) and Santiago Luna (1995) are in the field. Eight of the past champions have made this tournament their maiden victory.

Last year, Michael Hoey shot rounds of 72-68-67-71 to collect a two-stroke win over Chris Gane and Jamie Elson. Hoey is not in the field this week. He has won two more times since capturing this tournament last year and is ranked 79th in the world.

In 2010, James 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 Seve 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 as 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 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 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.

Dredge posted the largest margin of victory in tournament 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 Spain next week for the Volvo World Match Play Championship, where Ian Poulter will defend his title.

05/08 16:27:26 ET

As of May 8, 2012, at 04:27 PM ET