Five things to know: Czech Masters

By Emily Kay 12 months ago

The European Tour returned to Prague last week for the D+D REAL Czech Masters. Here are the five things you need to know.

The return of the D+D REAL Czech Masters

The D+D REAL Czech Masters makes its return this season after last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The seventh edition of the event will once again return to Albatross Golf Resort, which has been the permanent home of this event.

A European Tour Destination

Albatross Golf Resort is one of more than 30 prestigious venues in the European Tour Destinations’ network and is a hugely popular track among the players.

The 7,467-yard parkland course underwent winter renovations prior to the 2018 event, which included the introduction of several water features, but the biggest design change came at the final hole.

Guarded by water the entire left side of the fairway to the green, nerves will play a big factor for any player with a lead coming down the 72nd hole, lending itself to a dramatic finish come Sunday afternoon.

A place for first time winners

In the six editions since the event began in 2014, four players have earned their maiden European Tour titles in at Albatross Golf Resort.

Thomas Pieters captured his first title in 2015 before the Belgian followed up with a second victory in Prague in 2019 to take his tally to four European Tour victories.

Other players to claim their maiden victories include American Paul Peterson (2016), South African Hadyn Porteous (2017), and Italian Andrea Pavan (2018), with Welshman Jamie Donaldson taking out the inaugural edition in 2014 to capture his third title.

While Pieters won’t defend his title this week, Peterson and Pavan will be looking to rekindle the form that saw them claim victories in Prague. Pavan, who also finished in a tie for third in 2019 has good memories of Albatross Golf Resort having set the scoring record here of 23 under par during his victory in 2018.

The clubhouse at Albatross Golf Resort, Czech Republic

Race for Team Europe

Four European Tour events remain for players to qualify for the European Team taking on the Team USA at Whistling Straits in September: The D+D REAL Czech Masters, the Omega European Masters, the DS Automobiles Italian Open, and the BMW PGA Championship.

A number of players are vying for Captain Padraig Harrington’s attention this week in Prague, including Englishman Danny Willett, who currently sits at 16th on the European Points List and 18th on the World Points List.

As it stands, the  nine automatic qualifiers for Team Europe  include Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, and Rory McIlroy from the European Points List, with Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood and Shane Lowry from the World Points List.

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