Alex Noren defends Nordea Masters

The European Tour heads for Bro Hoff Slott GC in Stockholm, Sweden

Alex Noren defends Nordea Masters
Alex Noren defends Nordea Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour heads for Sweden this week and the 26th edition of the Nordea Masters. An impressive list of stars will tee off at the Bro Hof Slott GC and Alex Noren is defending champion.

After last week’s BMW PGA Championship, a number of the top players are on the start sheet again for this tournament. Alex Noren defends the Nordea Masters but Henrik Stenson is the top ranked Swede in the field. Those home favourites will be joined by three-time former champion Lee Westwood. Other big names to look out for include Major winner Y.E. Yang and former European Tour No. 1 Robert Karlsson.

This tournament began life as the Scandinavian Masters back in 1991. That event was won by Colin Montgomerie and, since then, Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell have been among the champions.

Lee Westwood has a great record in this event. He won for the first time way back in 1996 – the first of his 23 European Tour titles. He also won in 2000 and again in 2012.

Last season, home favourite Alex Noren won at PGA Sweden National in Malmo. He took the title with something to spare, finishing four clear of Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.

Alex Noren's fairway bunker tips:

Bro Hoff Slott GC is a Robert Trent Jones Jnr creation that only opened for play in 2007. The track is playing host to this event for a fifth time, having welcomed the Nordea Masters between 2010 and 2013. It’s a beautiful course set right on the waterside, it’s already considered to be one of the very best tracks in Sweden. At almost 7,600 yards, it’s also one of the longest courses on the European Tour circuit.

Venue: Bro Hoff Slott GC, Stockholm, Sweden Date: June 2-5 Course stats: par 72, 7,511 yards Purse: €1,500,000 Defending Champion: Alex Noren (-12)

TV Coverage: Thursday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm Sunday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player watch:

Rikard Karlberg – His superb final round of 65 at Wentworth last week should fill him with great confidence going into this, his home tournament. He’ll look to continue his good form and improve on last week’s second place finish.

Lee Westwood – He’s been looking stronger around the greens this year, evidenced by his great showing at Augusta. He likes this tournament and has won on this course – he’ll surely feature.

Andrew Johnston – Winner at Valderrama, Johnston was tied seventh last week at Wentworth.

Read the betsafe guide to strategic golf betting written by Fergus Bisset

Key hole: 17th. On the card it may look innocuous as just a 150-yard par 3. But, it has an island green in the style of the famous 17th at Sawgrass. It’s green or bust on this one and we could see some players chances ending in a watery grave come Sunday afternoon.

Skills required: Power. This is a long course and will play its full yardage. The guys who can carry the ball a good distance from the tee will be at a distinct advantage.