Hassan Trophy golf preview

A look ahead to this week's European Tour event, the Hassan II Trophy. It's not one of the strongest fields of the year but there are enough names present to make it a competitive affair with Francesco Molinari the favourite to triumph in Morocco

Francesco Molinari

Lowdown: This will be just the second European tour event to be held in Morocco, the first being the 1987 Moroccan Open won by Howard Clark. The Robert Trent Jones-designed Royal Golf Dar Es Salam will make use of the Red and Blue courses, with the former seen as the more difficult. The first two rounds will be played in pro-am format with one round played at the Red and another at the Blue.

Venue: Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco Date: Mar 18-21 Course Stats: Red, par 73, 7,343 yards / Blue, par 72, 6,788 yards Purse: €1,375,000 Winner: €229,160 Defending Champion: Ernie Els (-17)

TV Coverage Thursday 18: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30 Friday 19: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12:30 Saturday 20: Live on Sky Sports 2 from 13:00 Saturday 2: Live on Sky Sports 2 from 13:00

Player Watch Francesco Molinari: The Italian was one of only a select few to play in last week's WGC tournament in Doral, Florida. Molinari had a good showing in the event finishing in a tie with Phil Mickelson for 14th place. Louis Oosthuizen: The South African may be winless on the European Tour but has made great strides recently, with three finishes in the top 20 in his last four events. Paul McGinley: The Irishman has been out of action recovering from a knee injury. It will be interesting to see how this lay-off will affect the Ryder Cup star and to what extent he'll be able to compete.

Key Hole 18th Red: The ninth may be most recognisable part of this course with water surrounding this island-like hole. Still, the hardest obstacle will be the 563-yard par-5 18th. This long hole could end up deciding the winner.

Skills Required The Blue course is a lot shorter, therefore scoring opportunities are there to be had and should suit the bigger hitters, especially with the nature of the kikuyu grass taking care of a lot of run on the fairways. The Red is a tougher test that will appeal to those who can consistently keep the ball straight off the tee, and there are a number of water hazards to contend with.

Where next?

Previews: Transitions Championship golf preview Golf betting: Hassan Trophy golf betting guide

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