After recent trips to Asia, Africa, and Australia, the European Tour returns to its home turf for the Estoril Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos (aka "Estoril Open"). The Estoril Open is first event of the 2005 International schedule and is one of the Tour's longest running National Opens, dating back to 1953.
This year's event is being held at a new venue, the Oitavos Golfe in Quinta da Marinha, Portugal, which has hosted both the European Challenge Tour and the European Seniors Tour in the past two seasons.
The tournament boasts a field that includes past champions Sam Torrance (1982 and 1983), Mike McLean (1990), David Gilford (1993), Michael Jonzon (1997), Van Phillips (1999), and Gary Orr (2000). Torrance is looking to regain some of the magic he's had in the past. The former Ryder Cup Captain has 21 European Tour titles, including his consecutive wins at the Portuguese Open.
Four players who already own titles on the European Tour for 2005 will be in the field as play gets under way on Thursday. Stephen Dodd, Nick Dougherty, Niclas Fasth, and Charl Schwartzel have all won this year on the European Tour. Additionally, 1999 British Open Champion Paul Lawrie will be playing this week. Lawrie is most famous for his come-from-behind win at Carnoustie. He came back from a ten-stroke deficit to claim the Claret Jug.
Last year's champion, Miguel Angel Jimenez, will not be participating in this year's event. Jimenez finished at 16 under par in earning his second victory of 2004.
TV coverage, as always, will be on The Golf Channel.
Thursday 3/31 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC Friday 4/1 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC Saturday 4/2 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM ET TGC Sunday 4/3 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC