Strong field assembles for Nordea Masters

Thongchai Jaidee is defending champion at the Nordea Masters

Thongchai Jaidee defends Nordea Masters
Thongchai Jaidee defends Nordea Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour heads for Sweden this week and the 25th edition of the Nordea Masters. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee defends the title at PGA Sweden National in Malmo.

Lowdown: The European Tour heads for Sweden this week and the 25th edition of the Nordea Masters. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee defends the title at PGA Sweden National in Malmo.

A strong field will contest this tournament with the home nation being well represented. Henrik Stenson will start as favourite, but Robert Karlsson and Alex Noren who is making an impressive comeback from injury are also in the field. Last week’s Irish Open champion Soren Kjeldsen will be looking to continue his good run of form and other big name players teeing it up include: Victor Dubuisson, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn.

First contested on the European Tour in 1991, Colin Montgomerie was the inaugural winner of the Nordea Masters, then called the Scandinavian Masters. Since then there have been many notable victors, including Nick Faldo, Lee Westood, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott and Luke Donald.

Last year, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand came through a playoff against Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson of France. Jaidee fired a superb closing round of 65 to set a clubhouse total of 16-under-par. He then birdied the first extra hole to win his sixth European Tour title.

The tournament will be contested over PGA Sweden National’s Lakes Course. Opened for play in 2010 it’s a superb Kyle Phillips design featuring large bunkers and water hazards. The fairways and greens are populated with natural creeping bent grasses.

The weather forecast for the week looks settled so play should not be interrupted. The wins are set to be relatively light which will be a great relief for many after the gusts at Royal County Down last week.

Venue: PGA Sweden National, Malmo, Sweden Date: Jun 4-7 Course stats: par 72, 7,390 yards Purse: €1,500,000 Defending Champion: Thongchai Jaidee (-16)

TV Coverage: Thursday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm Sunday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player watch: Alex Noren – A former winner of this event, the Swede is enjoying a good season as he returns to the Tour after injury. He was tied eighth at Wentworth and tied 21st last week in Northern Ireland.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello – The Spaniard was tied ninth in this event last year so clearly likes the course. He was tied fourth at Royal County Down last week, missing the playoff by just a shot.

James Morrison – The Englishman may have missed the cut in Northern Ireland but he won in Spain and then was tied 11th at Wentworth the two weeks before. He’ll look to bounce back this week.

Key hole: 18th. A par-5 that can be stretched to over 600 yards, this is a classic finishing hole. Water waits all down the left side and a cleverly placed bunker at driving distance will add to the threat. The very longest hitters will be able to reach in two if the wind is favourable, but for most, if the tees are right back, it will be three shots.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus 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 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?