Defending champion Renato Paratore will join Thorbjorn Olesen and Alexander Bjork in one of the marquee pairing when play gets underway at Hills Golf Club for the 28th edition of the Nordea Masters. Olesen and Bjork are both winners on tour this season.
Martin Kaymer will be paired with Joakim Lagergren and Marcus Kinhult in another top group. The two-time major winning German will be looking for his first trophy since the 2014 U.S. Open. Lagergren, meanwhile, will be aiming for his second title of 2018, following victory at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open in May.
Dates: Aug. 16-19, 2018
Edition: 28th (1991)
Title Sponsor: Nordea (Banking, Financial Services)
Where: Gothenburg, Sweden
Course: Hills Golf Course
Distance: Par 36-34-70, 6,931 yards
Architect: Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest (2005)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $250,000
Television: Thu-Fri 5-7 am (GOLF); Sat-Sun 7-11 am (GOLF)
Defending Champion: Renato Paratore
Marquee Players: Paratore, Thorbjorn Olesen, Alexander Bjork, Martin Kaymer, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Marcus Kinhult, Richard McEvoy, Scott Jamieson, Thomas Bjorn, Richie Ramsay, Matteo Manassero
Notes: This is the first of six smaller European Tour events that follow the U.S. PGA Championship and run through the Ryder Cup matches in France. With most of Europe’s elite players competing in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs, these tournaments are generally a mix of up-and-comers and veterans looking to score some money and/or keep their card… One of those players is Martin Kaymer, who has fallen on hard times recently, and hasn’t won anything since 2014 when he captured both the PLAYERS and the U.S. Open. The now (just) 33-year old has not been the same player for 2-3 years but this season his dropoff has been dramatic, and now finds himself ranked outside the top 100 (No. 127) for the first time in his illustrious career. It’s a remarkable collapse for such a talented player who made it all the way to world No. 1 at just 26 years-old, and captured two major titles before the age of 30. The German star will try to get something going against what is considered a very weak field (24 OWGR rating) in Sweden… How weak is the field? At world No. 41, Thorbjorn Olesen is the highest ranked player, with Sweden’s Alexander Bjork (No. 76) the only other player ranked inside the top 100… Speaking of Olesen, he’s playing much better than the 41st ranked golfer in the world. In his last eight starts, the 28-year old Dane owns a win (Italian Open), T2 (BMW International), T3 (WGC-Bridgestone), T6 (The Open Championship), and T12 (Irish Open). At 8-1, he’s the heavy favorite to win in Sweden… Nordea was once one of the premier events on the European Tour (before the advent of the FedExCup playoffs), with marquee names such as Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Jesper Parnevik, Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Graeme McDowell, and Adam Scott, among others, listed as its past champions.
Last Week: Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship.
Next Week: D+D Real Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague, Czech Republic.
(Fact Sheet from PRO GOLF WEEKLY.)