The European Tour begins a two-week run in Cyprus at the Aphrodite Hills Resort for this week's Cyprus Open. Here is all you need to know, including the unique characteristics of the course found in the middle of two fairways.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: This is the inaugural Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open, which will be played as a one-off event.
COURSE: Opened in 2002, Aphrodite Hills Resort stands as one of Cyprus’ top golf courses, possessing a uniquely Mediterranean falvour.
Designed by American Cabell B. Robinson, the par-71 will measure 6,361 metres this week with views of the Mediterranean Sea, horseshoe greens, cross bunkers and even an ancient kiln and olive press found in the middle of the 1st and 8th fairways respectively.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Last week’s runner-up, Nicolas Colsaerts will be keen to continue on from where he left off, with his power and precision ball striking set to suit this resort-style layout on the edge of the Mediterranean.
The three-time European Tour winner and former Ryder Cup player has seen significant improvement in his putting in 2020, an ingredient he will be hoping leads to some consistent results over the closing stages of the circuit’s interrupted season.
Englishman Sam Horsfield was the form player on the European Tour during the UK Swing, winning twice in August. However, since a brief trip to the United States during which he was forced to withdraw from the US Open due to a positive test for COVID-19, the Florida-based Horsfield has struggled to find the same success.
RIGHT: Sam Horsfield looked unstoppable earlier this season on the European Tour, and he will be looking to recapture the same form that has deserted him since a positive COVID-19 test prior to the US Open. PHOTO: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Having missed last week in Italy, the 24-year-old should be rested and despite a lack of recent form is certainly among the players to keep an eye on in Cyprus.
After consecutive top-10s, Queenslander Maverick Antcliff has made an unfortunate habit of mixing in one poor round in his last two starts to finish well back in the money, something he will surely be determined to halt in Cyprus, where he will play back-to-back weeks.
Antcliff’s game continues to improve under the tutelage of Cameron Smith’s coach Grant Field, and his accurate long-game play and increasingly impressive short game will hold him in good stead on the well-conditioned resort venue this week.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff and Jason Scrivener.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8:30pm – 1:30am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8:30pm – 1:30am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 1:30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8:30pm – 1am)
*AEDT, check local guides