Good course management especially important
Not a long course but smallish greens demand accuracy
Nicolai can join twin brother Rasmus as Crans champion
• This week's tournament offers golfers the final chance to qualify for this year's European Ryder Cup team;
• The Omega European Masters, formerly known as the Swiss Open, has been part of the annual schedule since the European Tour was officially launched in 1972;
• Apart from 2020, when the tournament was cancelled because of the Covid pandemic, it has been held every year since;
• The Swiss Open at Crans-sur-Sierre goes back even further than the start of the European Tour, having hosted 42 professional tournaments between 1923 and 1971;
• Seven of the last nine editions of the European Masters have required a play-off.
• The tournament is staged over Crans-sur-Sierre's Severiano Ballesteros Course;
• Located in the Swiss Alps, around 120 miles east of Geneva and a similar distance south of Berne, Crans-sur-Sierre is one of the most photogenic courses in world golf;
• Opened in 1908, and upgraded on a number of occasions since, the most recent major renovation was carried out by the late Seve Ballesteros 24 years ago. The Spaniard created a number of run-off areas close to greens, which put an emphasis on needing a good short game;
• The course sits more than 4,000 feet above sea level, so the ball travels around 10% further than normal through this rarefied air;
• The course has reasonably small putting surfaces and steep surrounding slopes, which means the emphasis at Crans is on accuracy;
• It's important to avoid the many damaging slopes which can sweep the ball into tricky spots and sometimes oblivion;
• The tree-lined fairways are severely undulating - both uphill and downhill - and water comes into play on five holes, all of these on the back nine;
• The newest three water hazards were added during the winter of 2012-13;
• Having strong course management skills are particularly important at Crans-sur-Sierre;
• The key to success at Crans is not to wander off the fairways, while hitting plenty of greens in regulation. Achieve this, and there should be plenty of birdies up for grabs;
• Crans-sur-Sierre is one of the shorter venues on Tour and over the last 13 instalments (starting in 2009) the average winning 72-hole total is 264.15;
• During winter, Crans Montana is one of Switzerland's most prestigious ski resorts;
• It hosted the World Alpine Skiing Championships of 1987, and will do so again in four years' time.
Latest betting for this week's Omega European Masters
Lowest 10 At Crans-sur-Sierre (2016-22)
Average .... (Rounds)
67.44: Matt Fitzpatrick (16)
67.58: Sebastian Soderberg (12)
67.90: Adri Arnaus (10)
67.94: Alexander Bjork (17)
68.00: Joost Luiten (12)
68.00: Guido Migliozzi (12)
68.05: Mike Lorenzo-Vera (22)
68.13: Gavin Green (16)
68.30: Nacho Elvira (20)
68.33: Marcus Armitage (12)
Min. No. of Rounds = 10
Only those entered this week are included in table
European Masters Top Tips: Four To Watch
Matt Fitzpatrick: Easily the highest-ranked golfer taking part. The world No 8 and two-time Crans champion is the only member of golf's top-50 teeing-up.
Nicolai Hojgaard: The 22-year-old Dane has a great chance to follow in the footsteps of his twin brother Rasmus who won here in 2021. There has been five T-25 finishes from his last seven starts, including a podium position in the Czech Republic on Sunday.
Yannick Paul: The accurate German is pushing for Ryder Cup selection and is currently just outside an automatic spot. Was 10th at Albatross on Sunday and makes his Crans-sur-Sierre debut this week. Is currently fifth in the DP World Tour's Strokes Gained: Approach the Green category, and 11th in both SG: Tee-to-Green and Scrambling.
Matt Wallace: Runner-up at Crans last year and runner-up in Prague last week. The Englishman, who won on the PGA Tour during March, is hoping he can snatch a late wild-card for the forthcoming Ryder Cup.
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves