The European Tour wraps up its Spanish swing in the Balearic Islands at the Mallorca Golf Open. It will be the first Tour event played on the island in a decade. Here is all you need to know.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: New event.
COURSE: The tournament will be played on the par 72 Golf Santa Ponsa I, which was designed by the late Folco Nardi and opened for play in 1977. The layout has hosted the European Tour on six previous occasions, with Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros winning the first of those – the Open de Baleares in 1988. He won there again in 1992. Another Spanish great, Miguel Angel Jiménez, won the Turespana Masters Open at Santa Ponsa I in 1998.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Santa Ponça will welcome a host of top European players, led by former World No.1 and two-time major winner, Martin Kaymer, and four-time Euro Tour winner, Thomas Pieters.
Kaymer has gone close to breaking his lengthy win drought twice in 2021, first at the Austrian Open and again at the BMW International Open in Germany in June, when he was runner-up after a final round 64.
If Kaymer can raise the trophy this week, it will be just two weeks short of 10 years since his last victory, which came at the WGC HSBC Champions in November 2011.
Likewise, Pieters (pictured right) is searching for a victory to add to his five career titles. His last win came more than two years ago at the Czech Masters but there have been signs in recent times that his form his returning. Two top-10s in September and 15 of 16 rounds under par suggest the ‘Belgian Bomber’ is close to contending.
In addition to Kaymer and Pieters, there are a number of players teeing it up in Mallorca who know what it is like to experience a Ryder Cup. Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, David Howell, Thorbjørn Olesen and Peter Hansen, a winner in Spain and once in Mallorca (2010), are all confirmed starters.
At the time of writing, Scott Hend and Maverick Antcliff are the only Aussies in the field with Dimi Papadatos hoping to get a call up as an alternate.
Antcliff has had a season of mixed fortunes but this layout will suit his style of play, which is heavily reliant on hitting a lot of greens in regulation. If he can get the putter working early, he could be a factor this week.
Hend has had a horror run of form with seven missed cuts in his past nine starts. But a lower level of expectation, on a course that will suit longer hitters, might just be the tonic he requires to contend in Mallorca.
72-HOLE RECORD: New event.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: New event.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Scott Hend, Maverick Antcliff, Dimi Papadatos (fourth alternate).
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 3am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 3am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2.30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2.30am)
*AEDT, check local guides