The European Tour returns to Santa Ponsa for the first time in 23 years. Preview words and stats by Andy Swales...
"The world No 121 has won three times on the European Tour - including once this year - and on Sunday fired a 67 en route to finishing tied-11th at Valderrama. Catlin is also a four-time winner on the Asian Tour and has developed a habit of getting over the line in first place."
The European Tour has left mainland Spain and headed for the Balearic Island of Mallorca where this week's tournament takes place at Santa Ponsa.
Located around 10 miles from its capital Palma, and in the south-west of this Mediterranean island, this week's venue will be making its seventh appearance on the European Tour.
The Mallorca Open will be the third of four tournaments which make up the Iberia Swing, before the players head to Dubai for the season's finale.
Opened in 1977, Golf Santa Ponsa is a 45-hole resort which made its Tour debut 11 years later.
The Golf Santa Ponsa website says big hitters will enjoy the layout's wide fairways, while water comes into play on eight holes.
On the tee
The field for this week's event is likely to be the poorest all season on the European Tour.
Unless tournament organisers have a late entry up their sleeves, the highest-ranked pro will be Englishman Laurie Canter at No 97.
The only other top-100 golfer is Spaniard Santiago Tarrio who is a two-time winner in 2021 - albeit on the Challenge Tour.
As for 'top-seed' Canter, he is currently one of the best European golfers yet to win on Tour following three runner-up finishes.
The 31-year-old from Bath missed a good opportunity last week when he led the Andalucia Masters through 54 holes, only to finish fourth following a closing 76.
However, his psychological state may not be great heading into this week's event, so he's probably best to be avoided.
Latest odds for the Mallorca Open
As for those who have certainly proved their mettle as tournament winners is American John Catlin.
The world No 121 has won three times on the European Tour - including once this year - and on Sunday fired a 67 en route to finishing tied-11th at Valderrama.
Catlin is also a four-time winner on the Asian Tour and has developed a habit of getting over the line in first place.
New Zealander Ryan Fox is another to consider following his tie-for-fourth at the weekend.
This represented the 34-year-old's best performance since early February, and came on the back of his tied-24th in Madrid the previous week.
Four-time European Tour runner-up Adri Arnaus may be ready to contend again, after narrowly missing out on a maiden victory at Club de Campo two weeks' ago.
Not surprisingly, after losing a play-off at the Spanish Open, he struggled last week at Valderrama but his game must still be in pretty good shape.
Finally, the big-hitting Wilco Nienaber will be hoping to pummel the wide fairways of Santa Ponsa.
The 21-year-old South African currently heads the Tour's Driving Distance category and he recently finished in a tie-for-sixth in the Spanish capital.
Santa Ponsa history
All six previous European Tour events at Santa Ponsa took place between 1988 and 1998.
Five-time major winner Seve Ballesteros was a two-time champion here, with his first victory arriving 33 years ago.
The last player to win a Tour event at Santa Ponsa is Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves
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