Players revving up for Porsche European Open

The European Open returns to the schedule for the first time since 2009

Graeme McDowell plays in European Open
Graeme McDowell plays in European Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour is in Germany this week for the Porsche European Open at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach. The event returns to the schedule for the first time since 2009.

A strong field has assembled at Bad Griesbach to do battle for this prestigious title for the first time in six years. Graeme McDowell is one of the star names on the start sheet, and he’s joined by the likes of Charl Schwartzel, Hunter Mahan and German legend Bernhard Langer.

“It is a fantastic feeling to see the European Open on the tournament schedule for the European Tour again,” said McDowell. “I've often played this tournament and all the players always considered it to be one of the most significant events of the entire season. I'm thrilled that Porsche is on board as the title sponsor. Not just because Porsche is such an exceptional brand, but also because it’s the first time the company has been involved in professional golf.”

Graeme McDowell on how to hit the flop shot:

This event was first contested on the European Tour in 1978 when Bobby Wadkins was the victor at Walton Heath GC. The tournament has been played at some of the finest courses – Turnberry, Sunningdale, Royal Liverpool and for a number of years at the K Club. Previous winners of the competition include: Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Tom Kite, Sandy Lyle, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.

The last time the competition was held was at The London Club in 2009. Frenchman Christian Cevaer was the champion there. Since then Cevaer has retired from the European Tour so won’t be in Bavaria to defend his title.

With five Championship golf courses – three of which were designed by Bernhard Langer – and three hotels, the Hartl Resort at Bad Griesbach is the largest golf and spa resort in Europe. The tournament will be contested over the resort’s Beckenbauer course.

The weather looks set fair for the end of this week in Bavaria so, with luck, the tournament will be completed without interruption.

Venue: Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, Bavaria, Germany Date: Sep 24-27 Course stats: par 71, 7,188 yards Purse: €2,000,000 Winner: €333,330 Defending Champion: Christian Cevaer (-7) – tournament last held in 2009

TV Coverage: Thursday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm Sunday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 11.30am

Player watch: Romain Wattel – The Frenchman played as well as anybody last week in Italy but he just couldn’t find the spark to get the birdies flowing on the final day. If he continues to hit the ball like he did in Milan he will contend this time out.

Hunter Mahan – The American will be disappointed to miss a FedEx Cup playoff event for the first time in his career – He failed to make the top-30 going to East Lake for the Tour Championship. He will be keen to make amends with a good showing here. He’s been on good form of late.

Lucas Bjerregaard – The young Dane has a huge amount of potential and he showed that again last week in Milan. But for a short missed putt on the 17th he would have been in the playoff with Martin Kaymer and Rikard Karlberg. He’s one to watch this week.

Key Hole: 18th. This is a treacherous finishing hole of almost 470 yards. The drive is tricky as it must travel far enough to prevent the second being blocked by trees on the corner of the right to left dog-leg. Any drive pulled left could be in trouble. The approach is a daunting one to a green with water lurking short and right. Don’t be surprised to see the odd disaster at this closing hole.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?