2019 Open de Espana Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia in action during the pro-am event prior to the Open de Espana at Real Club Valderrama on April 13, 2016 in Sotogrande, Spain. Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

In 2018, after a one-year absence, one of the most historic titles in all of Continental Europe returned to the European Tour schedule with the Open de Espana. The event was a great success with native son Jon Rahm taking home the trophy in front of the home crowd at Centro Nacional de Golf.

This year, the tournament moves to Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, and will be contested on the venue’s Black Course.

As you might expect, Spaniards are well represented in the field, with 33 Spain natives among the 144 entrants. Ten of those Spaniards have won previously on the European Tour, most prominently world No. 5 Rahm – the defending champ, as well as world Nos. 33 and 38 Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello, respectively.

Here’s more info to help you prep for this week’s big golf event in Spain.


The Skinny

Tournament: Open de Espana
Dates: Oct 3-6, 2019
Where: Madrid, Spain
Course: Club de Campo Villa de Madrid
Distance: Par 71, 7112 yards
Architect: Javier Arana
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Purse: €1,500,000
Winning Share: €250,000
Defending Champion: Jon Rahm 
Other Marquee Players: Rafael Cabrera Bello, Sergio Garcia, Haotong Li, Jorge Campillo, Julian Suri, Alexander Levy, Paul Dunne, Ashun Wu, Jeunghun Wang, Matteo Manassero, Jose M Olazabal


TV & Online

All rounds broadcast by GOLF Channel
Rd 1: Th 6:00 am – 08:00 am
Rd 2: Fr 6:00 am – 08:00 am
Rd 3: Sa 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
Rd 4: Su 7:00 am – 11:30 pm

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Wikipedia


Tournament History

Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez hits a tee shot on the 2nd hole during Day 3 of the Open de Espana held at PGA Catalunya Resort on May 17, 2014 in Girona, Spain. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

History runs deep with an event now being played for the 93rd time, and there are many interesting features from the past about the Open de Espana.

For one thing, the first-ever European Tour event was the 1972 playing of this very championship – then titled the Spanish Open.

The host facility this year – Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, is one of the oldest in Spain (1929), and is considered one to the most prestigious in the country.

The European Tour uses the venue’s Black Course for its event, but the facility also includes a second championship track named the Yellow Course, designed by the country’s greatest golfer of all time, Seve Ballesteros.

The Open de Espana has been contested at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in the past, most recently in 1994 when Irishman – and 2020 Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington took home the title.

The list of past champions includes a number of golf’s all-time greats, both from Spain and otherwise. Prominent Spanish players who’ve won the title include Sergio Garcia, Alvaro Quiros, Miguel Angel Jimenez and the aforementioned legend Seve Ballesteros – a three-time winner.

In addition to Ireland’s Harrington, international players who’ve won Spain’s Open championship include all-timers such as Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, and Bernhard Langer.

History: Tournament Names

1997-2019: Open de Espana
1972-1996: Spanish Open

History: Title Sponsors

Mutuactivos (2019)
Real Club Valderrama (2016)
Reale Seguros (2012)
Andalucía (2006)
Jazztel (2005)
Canarias (2002-04)
Via Digital (2001)
Peugeot (1986-2000)
Benson & Hedges (1980-1985)

History: Recent Winners

2018: Jon Rahm (-20)
2016: Andrew Johnston (+1)
2015: James Morrison (-10)
2014: Miguel Angel Jimenez (-4)
2013: Raphael Jacquelin (-5)
2012: Francesco Molinari (-8)

History: Records

Wins:
3 – Seve Ballesteros (1981, 1985, 1995)

Scoring:
(262) – Mark James (1988)
(-22) – Kenneth Ferrie (2003)


Defending Champion

Jon Rahm acknowledges the crowd after winning the Open de Espana at Centro Nacional de Golf on April 15, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Jon Rahm fired a final-round 5-under 67 at Centro Nacional de Golf to capture the Open de España by two shots over Paul Dunne.

The win was Rahm’s first as a professional on home soil after claiming seven national amateur titles.

“It’s such a satisfying feeling,” said Rahm. “When I made the decision to come straight from Augusta it wouldn’t be to just show up and walk around, I wanted to win this tournament.

“I’ve been blessed to be national champion from 16 to all ages in Spain. To round my amateur and pro career together in this way and win the last one I had to win and join that prestigious list of Spanish winners, it’s hard to explain how good it feels and how satisfying it is. It’s been amazing.”

Irishman Dunne, who had led wire to wire, made birdie on the final hole to post a 71 – his fourth-straight under-par round in Madrid – and reach 18 under, a shot clear of Nacho Elvira, and two ahead of South Africa’s George Coetzee.

Final Top 3

1 Jon Rahm -20
2 Paul Dunne -18
3 Nacho Elvira -17


Open De Espana Field

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm tees off during day three of Open de Espana at Centro Nacional de Golf on April 14, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Returning as the defending champion, hometown hero Jon Rahm is favored to go back-to-back. The 24-year old superstar enters off a surprising missed-cut in Scotland (Dunhill Links), but before that posted a solo runner-up at Wentworth (BMW PGA Championship).

While Rahm is the strong favorite, there are more than a few players in the field capable of presenting a challenge to the fiery Spaniard.

Countryman, and world No. 38, Rafael Cabrera Bello is one of those top contenders. Like Rahm, Cabrera Bello had a similarly decorated junior career, and still considers winning the title a childhood dream.

Also like Rahm, Cabrera Bello is coming into the event off a poor performance in Scotland (T61), and good one at the BMW PGA (T6).

Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Rafael Cabrera Bello tees off during the 2016 Open de Espana at Real Club Valderrama on April 13, 2016 in Sotogrande, Spain. Credit: Getty Images/Ross Kinnaird

The other high profile favorite son is the most popular of the trio: Sergio Garcia. After an early exit in the FedExCup playoffs, Garcia has made two European Tour starts this fall and owns a T23 and a win (KLM Open).

Top-5 Betting Favorites

1. Jon Rahm (3-1)
2. Sergio Garcia (6-1)
3. Rafael Cabrera Bello (9-1)
4. Andrea Pavan (16-1)
5. Haotong Li (16-1)

Full Field & Odds

Open de Espana | Club de Campo Villa | Madrid, Spain | Oct. 3-6, 2019


Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images


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