The tournament according to Gaston F. Barras, president of the organising committee
Gaston F. Barras presides the organising committee of the Swiss Open since 1964. Who else would better know the OMEGA European Masters than him?
Gaston F. Barras, a champion for anecdotes, the living memory of the tournament, always has a story to tell or the right thing to say to highlight the competition that is so close to his heart. It is important to know that he has seen many players come and go, since 1939. He also has been witness to a multitude of feats and extraordinary shots. «In this domain, I always tell golfers to never accomplish a hole-in-one when they are alone. Clearly, when coming back to the clubhouse no one will believe their story.»
Even though Gaston F. Barras has been president since 1964, his first memories of golf go back much further. «Golf has always been part of my life. At the age of 8, I was already a caddy at the Open. I grew up with this competition. I really saw it develop and become what it is today: one of the most appreciated tournaments in the world.» As president of the Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre and previous president of the commune de Chermignon (from 1965 to 1984), he is very involved in the organisation of the OMEGA European Masters. Yves Mittaz, director of the event, is used to saying that «without Gaston Barras, the tournament would not be what it is today. He has committed funds so that Crans-Montana could be part of the European Tour.» It is also he, who had the idea to name the tournament the «European Masters», which makes it unique.