Colin Montgomerie and Seve Ballesteros, captains in the hugely successful Eurobet Seve Ballesteros Trophy at Sunningdale recently, renew their rivalry but in the more familiar stroke play format this week in the Peugeot Open de España at PGA Golf de Catalunya, Girona, Spain.
Thirteen of the 20 players on duty at Sunningdale will be playing at the magnificent PGA Golf de Catalunya, which last season staged its first major event in the Sarazen World Open, won by Denmark's Thomas Björn. A field of the highest quality will line up in Spain for a tournament which has produced champions of the quality of Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Ballesteros and Montgomerie over the past quarter of a century.
Björn, who captured the Peugeot Open de España in 1998, will be seeking his third title on Spanish soil while also in the field are past winners Eamonn Darcy, Eduardo Romero, Rodger Davis, Andrew Sherborne, Joakim Haeggman, Mark James and Sam Torrance.
Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden defends the title he won by four strokes from Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul McGinley while James and Torrance are making belated seasonal debuts.
José Maria Olazábal and Ian Woosnam are in the field along with a young Spaniard who made his professional debut in the tournament a year ago. This time around Sergio Garcia, who finished tied 25th in Barcelona, is a fully fledged member of the European and PGA Tours with two European titles to his name and a place in the history books as the youngest Ryder Cup player.
PGA Golf de Catalunya, is located close to Spain's Costa Brava. Designed by Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo, it is set on undulating land, dense with a variety of hanging pine and cork trees which line the fairways. The mountains of the Pyrenees provide a spectacular backdrop to the 7,200 yards, par 72 course.
The course is the newest in the portfolio of European Tour Courses. Golf World magazine, who recently wrote a highly complimentary article on the course, revealed that PGA Golf de Catalunya had entered their publication's Continental Top 100 at No.54 - a glowing testiment to such a young lay-out.
The European Tour professionals were also full of praise for the course last year.