The European Tour travels to the Canary Islands this week, as the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open returns to the schedule for the first time since 1995. Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin is the most recent winner of this event, firing six-under 282 to defeat Seve Ballesteros and Paul Eales by one shot in 1995.
COURSE: The Meloneras Golf course, in Maspalomas, opened in 2006 and was designed by Rob Kirby. The picturesque seaside layout is lined by palm trees and offers mountainous views. It is quite short – playing to 5,946 metres (par-70) this week – so scoring is expected to be relatively low.
PRIZEMONEY: EUR 1,500,000.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Tournament host Rafa Cabrera Bello is one of the few players in the field with course knowledge – finishing third at the Spanish PGA back in 2007 – and arrives at Meloneras Golf in decent enough form to suggest he is one of the main contenders this week.
The Spaniard began the New Year by claiming fourth place at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and rebounded from two consecutive missed cuts with his share of 44th at the Valero Texas Open earlier this month.
Cabrera Bello, 36, hasn’t been able to add to his three European Tour titles since winning the Scottish Open in 2017. He should see this week as a major opportunity to break that drought.
RIGHT: Cabrera Bello will take on hosting duties at Meloneras Golf. PHOTO: Steve Dykes/Getty Images.
American John Catlin played superbly last week in Austria to defeat Maximillian Kieffer in extra holes and claim his third European Tour title.
The 30-year-old Californian should enjoy the warmer weather in Maspalomas this week and will be hoping to put some solid results together off the back of his victory.
Catlin had been enduring a disappointing 2021 prior to winning at Diamond Country Club last week, having missed four cuts and failing to record anything better than his share of 28th at the Kenya Open in March.
72-HOLE RECORD: Legendary Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal shot 15-under-par 273 to defeat his countryman Miguel Angel Martin by five shots in 1992.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No previous Australian winner. Wayne Riley finished joint runner-up to Englishman David Gilford in 1994.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff, Austin Bautista and Jake McLeod.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 11pm – 4am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 11pm – 4am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10:30pm – 3am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2:30am)
*AEST, check local guides