The European Tour will again break new ground this week when the El Cortijo Club de Campo course on Gran Canaria is visited for the first time as host of the Canarias Open de España.
The staging of the event truly embraces both old and new aspects of the game of golf for the tournament itself is one of the most established on The European Tour International Schedule, stretching back to 1912, when Frenchman Arnaud Massy won at the Polo Golf Club in Madrid, five years after triumphing in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
Last year the list of Champions saw a new name added to it, that of Sweden's Robert Karlsson, who won by two shots from Frenchman Jean-Francois Remesy at El Saler in Valencia. The Swede returns this year, attempting to become the first golfer since Max Faulkner almost half a century ago, to successfully defend the title.
Victory for a Spanish player, naturally, is always greeted with additional joy from the spectators as was witnessed by Seve Ballesteros's triumph at Club de Campo in Madrid in 1995, a remarkable year which saw Spaniards fill the first three places with José Rivero and Ignacio Garrido a couple of shots adrift, and there is another strong home challenge this year.
Leading the way will be current World Number Five Sergio Garcia, who will play his fourth tournament of the year on The European Tour International Schedule, hoping to continue the excellent form shown in his first three.
In January, the 22 year old finished third in the Johnnie Walker Classic at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth, he reached the third round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play at La Costa Resort & Spa in February and finished eighth in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National a fortnight ago.
Garcia, of course, has tasted success on the US PGA Tour this season, winning the curtain-raising Mercedes Championships in Hawaii. It was a feat matched three weeks ago by South Africa's Retief Goosen who claimed the BellSouth Classic in Georgia and the 2001 Volvo Order of Merit winner will also be in action at El Cortijo Club de Campo.
The 33 year old, who cruised to victory in the Johnnie Walker Classic, showed his game was still in fine fettle by finishing runner-up in the Masters Tournament a fortnight ago, a performance which helped him return to the top of the 2002 Volvo Order of Merit.