It’s less than 200 kilometres from last week’s venue in Tarragona to Catalunya and under those circumstances it’s not hard to see why many have made the journey.

The tournament is new on the DP World Tour schedule after Covid restrictions made travel to Asia impossible this year and it is a tournament the players will no doubt be thankful for.

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.

COURSE: Similar to last week’s venue at the Infinitum resort, PGA Catalunya’s Stadium Course will be familiar to many who have attended the Tour’s Q-School.

For nine years between 2009 and 2016 the Stadium and its sister course, The Tour Course, hosted the final stage of qualifying school for the European Tour.

The course also hosted the Spanish Open three times, the most recent in 2014 when the legendary Miguel Angel Jimenez hoisted the trophy.

RIGHT: After winning last week, Pablo Larrazabal will be a player to watch as he tees it up at home once again. PHOTO: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

While that history means a good deal of the field will have played the course, those experiences may not be as valuable as it seems with the course having undergone some renovations in recent years.

A course essentially purpose built for professional tournament play, PGA Catalunya is a strict test of golf with execution the priority over imagination.

Narrow, tree lined fairways bordered by thick rough demand good ball striking to be in the mix come Sunday though that will do little to deter low scoring.

While the winning score in 2014 was only four-under-par the previous two Spanish Opens here yielded totals of 18-under-par and 14-under-par respectively.

RELATED: So-called expert golf tips for this week

PRIZEMONEY: EUR$2,000,000

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Last week’s winner Pablo Larrazabal may well start favourite again this week given the stunning 2022 he is putting together so far.

The Spaniard has two wins and two other top-five finishes in seven starts for the year and thanks to a final round 62 last week will still be on a high come Thursday.

However, winning back-to-back weeks might be one of the most difficult tasks in professional golf and despite a home ground advantage Larrazabal seems a less likely prospect this week.

Runner-up in Tarragona and fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, on the other hand, will likely fancy his chances having not only played well last week but also finishing runner-up at this very course at the 2015 Q-School.

The Tour returns to PGA Catalunya for the first time since 2014 this week. PHOTO: AOP.Press/Corbis via Getty Images.

His 2022 form has been good with a T5 in Qatar prior to his runner-up last week and another top-five in February.

Like Larrazabal he will be enjoying playing in front of his home crowd and a third DP World Tour title would not be a surprise.

Five Australians take their place in the field including a no doubt still pumped up Jason Scrivener after a successful week on the PGA Tour.

Invited to pair with Jason Day for the Zurich teams event, Scrivener played some outstanding golf at TPC Louisiana and will be buoyed by his performance on the world’s biggest stage.

The West Australian has always looked a better player than his resume reflects but a week like that, in the company of a former World No.1, is just the sort of thing that can give a player a boost.

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Scott Hend, Wade Ormsby, Maverick Antcliff, Zach Murray and Jason Scrivener.

TV TIMES*
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 10pm –3am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 10pm – 3am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 10pm – 2:30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 9pm – 1.30am)
*AEST, check local guides