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Golf Australia Express : Issue 3
Sweden. Think gorgeous people, brown skin, blonde hair, massages, long summer days and Stockholm. It’s a vision sure to bring a smile. Now think the Nordea Masters. Sorry, but for 156 elite golfers, a visit to Sweden this week is all about this European Tour event. After all when you consider the opportunity to grab a fair share of the €1,500,000 purse, silverware and other perks that come with champion status, it is fair enough the pros should focus their attention here. The Scandinavian Masters—an event that’s had a number of title changes—is currently the only European Tour event played in Scandinavia. The Nordic region’s premier golf event returns to the superb Robert Trent Jones Jr designed Bro Hof Slott layout. Three-time winner Colin Montgomerie is the event’s most successful player. Can one of the Tour’s big names win again or will one of golf’s rising stars come of age in its 21st year? Heavy overnight rain, a long delay and soaked course wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of local Richard Johnson during the final round. On a day that saw the hopes of a number of the more fancied players washed away, the ice-cool Swede slotted a 30-foot birdie on the final green to claim his second career tour victory. His final round 71 was enough to take the title by one shot over world number 371 Rafa Echenique (ARG). In doing so, Johnson became just the second homegrown winner of the Scandinavian Masters in the last 12 years. And there was serious talent trailing him to the finish line. The Barclays Scottish Open winner Edoardo Molinari (ITA) finished third and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) finished tied for fourth. Another big name to succumb to final round blues (as in water) was joint overnight leader K J Choi. After hooking his opening drive OOB he then put two balls in the drink for a nine on the 15th.. The Korean’s chances were over and he signed for a 78, falling to 13th place. OTG With his Scandinavian Masters victory in 1995, Jesper Parnevik became only the second player in European Tour history to win an event without dropping a shot. He followed David J Russell who first achieved the feat at the 1992 Open de Lyon Trophée V33. PEEK THE Aspectacle of sorts for those who love the big-hitting players on tour will be on show this week, as Americans Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson head to Sweden. It’s quite a comliment to the event to see players ditch the US tour to play it. Although who would say no to a trip to Sweden? And for the recod, if you’re looking for a winner, we reckon Bubba’s a lock. It’s his kind of course and, well, we just like the guy. THE EVENT LAST TIME AROUND NORDEA MASTERS FUN FACT BIG BOMBERS July 21-24, 2011 Bro Hof Slott GC, Stockholm, SWEDEN Purse: €1,500,000 Defending Champ: Richard Johnson (SWE) NORDIC IS NICE What’s happening on the European Tour this week