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Golf Australia Express : Issue 7
THIS TOURNAMENT was a regular fixture on the European Tour schedule between 1994 to 1997 as the Chemapol Trophy Czech Open, and was the first European Tour event staged east of the former Iron Curtain after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1998 it lost its place on the Tour schedule at the request of the sponsors, following flood disasters in the Czech Republic. But the Czech Open returned to the Tour in 2009 and will be played at the Miguel Angel Jiménez designed Prosper Golf Resort for the third time. Swedes have dominated the event since its return, with Oskar Henningsson capturing his maiden European Tour title in 2009 and Peter Hanson succeeding him last year to effectively seal his spot in last year’s European Ryder Cup Team. SWEDE PETER Hanson holed a brilliant 18- foot putt during the second playoff hole to claim victory at the 2010 Czech Open. The 32-year-old had to overcome strong challenges from Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and little-known European Tour rookie, Englishmen Gary Boyd. Boyd, just 23, was looking to become the youngest winner of the event. For Hanson the significance of the win went further than the €333,330 in prizemoney. He secured a place himself an all-important automatic spot in Colin Montgomerie’s European Ryder Cup team. “It means so much to get in the top nine. Coming here on a late invitation and coming here on Monday. I knew if I was going to have any chance Ineedtowinanditissohard knowing that you have to win,” Hanson said. OTG Prosper Golf Resort’s relatively new Old Course—opened in 2001—was designed by current European Tour player Miguel Angel Jiménez. The Spanish character took a sensitive design approach to the layout. Narrow fairways and well-placed bunkers force players to manage their way around this 6060-metre course. With a little insider knowledge about how to play this ‘uphill-downhill’ track, we reckon Jiménez might be puffing on a celebratory cigar come Sunday. PEEK THE THE EVENT THE COURSE LAST TIME AROUND August 18-21, 2011 Prosper Golf Resort, Celadna, CZECH REPUBLIC Purse: €1,500,000 Defending Champ: Peter Hanson (SWE) CZECH PLEASE What’s happening on the European Tour this week