Crans-Montana promises golf at the highest level with the presence of many champions !
After last year’s mid-summer appearance for the tournament, the 2016 Omega European Masters moves back to its initial timing due to the Rio Olympic Games - it will now take place from the 1st to 4th of September. The organizers, celebrating the 70th time it has been held on the Severiano Ballesteros course at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf-Club, have succeeded in extending the existing contract for another 5 years until 2022. So the Omega European Masters, positioned as the most important annual event held on Swiss soil with a prize money of 2.7m Euros, will be again confirmed at the heart of the European Tour. With a budget of 12 million Swiss francs, it will host an attractive field, ranging from tournament champions to legends of the game and not forgetting the up and coming talents.
Headlining this year’s 156-strong field is Englishman Danny Willett (28 years old), the brilliant winner of the 2016 US Masters and holder of the Crans-Montana title. He is currently leading the « Race to Dubai » on the European Tour and finds himself ranked 10th in the World. Some other Englishmen will strengthen this « US Masters atmosphere » which will surround Valais’s Haut-Plateau: Lee Westwood who finished 2nd at Augusta (43 years old, 42 victories on the European, US and Asian PGA Tour, 7 appearances on the winning European Ryder Cup team, World No. 1 on several occasions and winner at Crans-Montana in 1999); as well as the phenomenal 21 year old golfer, Matthew Fitzpatrick – having finished 2014 as the leading Amateur, Fitzpatrick has rocketed into the European and World golfing elite, finishing 2nd at last year’s Omega European Masters, winning the British Masters title and then adding the Nordea Masters in 2016 plus 7th place in the US Masters. With his notable absence last year, it is with the greatest of pleasures that the golf fans will find again the charismatic Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez (52 years old and currently ranked 2nd on the US PGA Champions Tour). The Northern Irishman with the impressive credentials, Darren Clarke (48 years old and 27th season as a professional), Ryder Cup captain in 2016, cannot be missed from the tournament field.
Special attention will be paid to the first appearance of Bryson DeChambeau – having turned professional in the spring of 2016, the American has already finished 4th at the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour and 15th at the US Open. Some of the other heavyweights to appear at this year’s tournament include: Padraig Harrington (IRL, 3-time major winner), Marcus Fraser (AUS, bronze medalist in Rio), Chris Wood (ENG), Alex Noren (SWE), Jamie Donaldson (WAL), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Matteo Manassero (ITA) as well as the 2 Frenchmen Grégory Bourdy and Victor Dubuisson.
This year’s line-up features 20 pros who have won on the European Tour and 12 previous champions in Crans-Montana.
Asian golf promises a brilliant future. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (winner of the 100th French Open), China’s Haotong Li and Ashun Wu, the Koreans, Soomin Lee and Jeunghun Wang have already made a name for themselves on the European Tour and will feature at the 2016 Omega European Masters. With the shared desire of guaranteeing the presence of the Top 30 from the Asian Tour, the Omega European Masters (as the only European tournament) and the Asian Tour have continued their cooperation for the 8th year in a row.
Representing Switzerland, the 4 professionals, Joel Girrbach (GC Lipperswil), Marc Dobias (GC Lausanne), Raphaël de Sousa (GC Geneva) and Luca Galliani (Como) plus the 2 amateurs Jeremy Freiburghaus (GC Domat Ems) and Marco Iten (GC Rheinblick) have also booked their place.
The Omega European Masters, with its unique stage, will once again deliver on its promise of a great tournament. The 3 Swiss TV channels (RTS, SRF and RSI) will broadcast live on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th of September with Canal+ and Golf+ also showing it live (App available on tablet and Smartphone). Canal 9 will be showing highlights of the tournament during the evenings