European Golf Tour
PGA European - Omega European Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, August 30th through Sunday, September 2nd
SITE: Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club (Alpine Course), Crans Montana, Switzerland
COURSE ARCHITECT: Fremantle and Gedge (1908), M Nicholson (1929 - redesign),
         Seve Ballesteros (1999 - redesign)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 6,822
Hole-by-Hole1 - Par 5 540 Yds
2 - Par 4 437 Yds
3 - Par 3 191 Yds
4 - Par 4 503 Yds
5 - Par 4 339 Yds
6 - Par 4 324 Yds
7 - Par 4 331 Yds
8 - Par 3 175 Yds
9 - Par 5 629 Yds
36 3,469 Yds
10 - Par 4 405 Yds
11 - Par 3 205 Yds
12 - Par 4 410 Yds
13 - Par 3 199 Yds
14 - Par 5 595 Yds
15 - Par 5 516 Yds
16 - Par 3 235 Yds
17 - Par 4 386 Yds
18 - Par 4 402 Yds
35 3,353 Yds
Annual:  78th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 7-11 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Thomas Bjorn
Runner-Up:  Martin Kaymer
Tournament Record:  260 (Colin Montgomerie, 1996)
54-Hole Record:  193 (Patrick Sjoland, 1998)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Sandy Lyle, 1983)
Course Record:  60 (Baldovino Bassu, 1971; Jamie Spence, 1992)
Total Purse:  $2,624,606 (2,100,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $437,469; 2nd Place - $291,642; 3rd Place - $164,310
2011 Finish
Thomas Bjorn264Fredrik Andersson Hed270
Martin Kaymer268David Lynn270
Jamie Donaldson269Lee Westwood270
Jaco Van Zyl269Three players at271
Rory McIlroy269
Past Omega European Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Thomas Bjorn (264) -- Martin Kaymer
2010Miguel Angel Jimenez (263) -- Edoardo Molinari
2009Alexander Noren (264) -- Bradley Dredge
2008*Jean-Francois Lucquin (271) -- Rory McIlroy
2007*Brett Rumford (268) -- Phillip Archer
2006Bradley Dredge (267) -- Francesco Molinari, Marcel Siem
2005Sergio Garcia (270) -- Peter Gustafsson
2004Luke Donald (265) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
2003Ernie Els (267) -- Michael Campbell
2002Robert Karlsson (270) -- Trevor Immelman, Paul Lawrie
2001Ricardo Gonzalez (268) -- Soren Hansen
2000Eduardo Romero (261) -- Thomas Bjorn
1999Lee Westwood (270) -- Thomas Bjorn
1998*Sven Struver (263) -- Patrik Sjoland
1997Costantino Rocca (266) -- Robert Karlsson, Scott Henderson
1996Colin Montgomerie (260) -- Sam Torrance
1995Mathias Gronberg (270) -- Costantino Rocca, Barry Lane
1994Eduardo Romero (266) -- Pierre Fulke
1993Barry Lane (270) -- Seve Ballesteros, Miguel Angel Jimenez
1992*Jamie Spence (271) -- Anders Forsbrand
1991Jeff Hawkes (268) -- Seve Ballesteros
1990Ronan Rafferty (267) -- John Bland
1989Seve Ballesteros (266) -- Craig Parry
1988Chris Moody (268) -- Seve Ballesteros, Anders Forsbrand, Ian Woosnam
1987Anders Forsbrand (263) -- Mark Mouland
1986Jose Maria Olazabal (262) -- Anders Forsbrand
1985Craig Stadler (267)
1984Jerry Anderson (261) -- Howard Clark
1983*Nick Faldo (268) -- Sandy Lyle
1982*Ian Woosnam (272) -- Bill Longmuir
1981*Manuel Pinero (277) -- Antonio Garrido, Tony Johnstone
1980Nick Price (267) -- Manuel Calero
1979Hugh Baiocchi (275) -- Antonio Garrido, Dale Hayes, Delio Lovato
1978Seve Ballesteros (272) -- Manuel Pinero
1977Seve Ballesteros (273) -- John Schroeder
1976Manuel Pinero (274) -- Dave Hill
1975Dale Hayes (273) -- Tienie Britz, Bernard Gallacher, Gary Player
1974Bob Charles (275) -- Tony Jacklin
1973Hugh Baiocchi (278) -- Eddie Polland, Jack Newton
1972Graham Marsh (270) -- Tony Jacklin
1971Peter Townsend (270) -- Manuel Ballesteros
1970Graham Marsh (274)
1969Roberto Bernardini (277)
1968Roberto Bernardini (272)
1967Randall Vines (272)
1966Alfonso Angelini (271)
1965#Harold Henning (208)
1964Harold Henning (276)
1963*Dai Rees (278)
1962*Bob Charles (272)
1961Kel Nagle (268)
1960Harold Henning (270)
1959Dai Rees (274)
1958Ken Bousfield (272)
1957Alfonso Angelini (270)
1956Dai Rees (278)
1955Flory van Donck (277)
1954Bobby Locke (276)
1953Flory van Donck (267)
1952Ugo Grappasonni (267)
1951Eric Brown (267)
1950Aldo Casera (276)
1949Marcel Dallemagne (270)
1948Ugo Grappasonni (285)
1947Not Held
1946Not Held
1945Not Held
1944Not Held
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Not Held
1940Not Held
1939Fifi Cavalo (273)
1938J. Saubaber (139)
1937M. Dallemagne (138)
1936@F. Francis (134)
1935Auguste Boyer (137)
1934Auguste Boyer (133)
1933Not Held
1932Not Held
1931M. Dallemagne (145)
1930Auguste Boyer (150)
1929A. Wilson (142)
1928Not Held
1927Not Held
1926Alex Ross (145)
1925Alex Ross (148)
1924P. Boomer (150)
1923Alex Ross (149)

* - Won in Playoff

# - 54 Holes

@ - Amateur

Note:Formerly called Swiss Open (1971-81), Ebel Swiss Masters (1982),
Ebel European Masters Swiss Open (1983-1990), Canon European Masters Swiss Open (1991), Canon European Masters (1992-2000).

Top Contenders in the Field
Thomas BjornT-23---T-26------------mcT-15Won
David Lynn---T-8---mc65th------T-32T-51T-6
Miguel A. Jimenez63rdT-82ndT-13T-37mcT-34thWonT-9
Alexander Noren---------------T-66mcWonmcT-9
Simon DysonT-4T-39T-16T-69T-12---T-32T-7T-60T-16
Matteo Manassero---------------------T-233rdT-18
G. Fdez-Castano---------mcT-59T-6T-21---wdT-18
Felipe Aguilar---T-39------mc---T-47T-14T-44T-25
Peter HansonT-65------T-40mc------T-46---T-25
Darren Clarke---------------mc---T-60T-15T-35
Paul LawrieT-2T-62T-46mc------------mcT-35
Ricardo GonzalezmcT-54T-37T-23T-26T-56T-19T-56mcT-48
Brett RumfordT-36mcT-56T-69T-44WonT-23T-32T-13T-65
Bradley DredgeT-4---T-20T-15Won3rdT-552ndmcmc
Greg Norman------------------------mc---
Branden Grace---------------------mc------
Paul CaseyT-10T-8---3rd---T-37------------
John Daly------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Peter Hanson
Darkhorse - Romain Wattel
Last Week's Pick to Win (David Lynn) - Finished tied for 26th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Shaun Micheel) - Missed the cut
The European Tour travels to Switzerland this week for the Omega European Masters. With the best players on the European Tour competing in the United States at the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup, there are no players ranked in the top-25 of the world in the field. However, six of the top-50 are competing this week - Paul Lawrie (30), Peter Hanson (34), David Lynn (39), defending champion Thomas Bjorn (41), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (43) and Simon Dyson (46).

Lawrie is coming off his second win of the year last week at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. He also won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters in February and will be playing in the Ryder Cup in September for the European squad for the first time since 1999. Bjorn will try to become the first back-to-back winner of this event since Seve Ballesteros captured two straight in 1977-78.

Crans-sur-Sierre has hosted this event since 1939 with this edition being the 66th held at this site. The course is the most used venue for a regular European Tour event.

Last year, Bjorn carded an impressive 9-under 62 in the final round at Crans-sur-Sierre to overtake several of the world's top players and win for the second straight week. Bjorn's 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th was the final straw that propelled the Dane to a 20-under 264 finish, marking the first time he's won three times in a single year. It was his 13th win overall on the European Tour, only the 27th player in tour history to do so. His win was all the more impressive when considering that three of the world's top six players finished in the top-6 of the leaderboard - Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. Bjorn became the oldest player in European Tour history to win back-to-back events at 40 years and 198 days old.

In 2010, Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the 17th hole in the final round to fend off Edoardo Molinari and win by three strokes. Jimenez fired rounds of 67-61-68-67 to post his third win of the season at 21-under-par 263. It was his 18th European Tour victory. Jimenez has won 11 of his 18 titles since turning 40. The 46-year-old Jimenez became the oldest player in European Tour history to win three times in one season. He won the tournament in his 22nd appearance, a European Tour record for most appearances in the same event before winning it.

In 2009, Alexander Noren carded weekend rounds of 63-66 to collect his first European Tour title. Noren completed the event at 20-under-par 264 for a 2-stroke victory over 2006 champion Bradley Dredge.

Five players have won three times; Alex Ross, Auguste Boyer, Dai Rees, Harold Henning and Ballesteros. There have been four wire-to-wire winners since 1980, most recently in 2002 when Robert Karlsson won the title.

This tournament has witnessed a number of scoring records in its distinguished history. In 1978, Spain's Jose Maria Canizares became the first player to shoot 27 for nine holes. On his way to victory in 1996, Colin Montgomerie produced the lowest 36 holes in tour history, shooting 124 (-18) in rounds three and four to beat Sam Torrance by four shots. Anders Forsbrand's scoring in 1987 was even more remarkable when the Swede covered the last 54 holes in 192 (-24) - breaking tour records for the lowest final 54 holes and the lowest final 54 in relation to par.

Canadian Jerry Anderson etched his name into the record books with his wire- to-wire win in 1984. His 72-hole score of 27-under still stands as the lowest total to par and gave him his maiden victory. Montgomerie owns the record for the lowest total score of 260 shot in 1996. One of the most spectacular finishes ever seen on the European Tour took place in 1992 when Jamie Spence started the final round 10 behind. Courtesy of his last-day 60, it enabled him to defeat Forsbrand in a playoff to equal the biggest final-round comeback by a winner, first set by Neil Coles at the 1977 Tournament Players' Championship. Paul Lawrie also came from 10 back on the final day when he won the British Open Championship in 1999.

The European Tour heads to the Netherlands next week for the KLM Open, where Dyson captured the title last year.

08/28 14:42:42 ET

As of August 28, 2012, at 02:42 PM ET