• The 2011 Bankia Madrid Masters will mark the first time for 18 years that the World’s number one player will compete in a European Tour event in Madrid. The current world’s best player, Luke Donald is defending the title he won 12 months ago at the Real Sociedad Hipica Española Club de Campo. Sir Nick Faldo was the then Number One at the Spanish Open in 1993, when it was played at the Real Automovil Club de España. He tied for second behind Joakim Haeggman.

• Luke Donald is looking for his fourth European Tour title of the 2011 season. The last English player to win four or more official events in a single season was Lee Westwood in 2000, who won five. Should Donald triumph again it would be the first time in his professional career he has made a successful defence of a title.

•  The El Encín Golf Hotel is a new venue, having only opened in 2011. It was designed by Robert Von Hagge, Smelek & Baril. In fact Von Hagge was the designer of the previous course for the event, the Real Sociedad Hipica Sociedad Club de Campo (RSHECC).

• Spain have enjoyed a wonderful 2011 season, with wins by Pablo Martin (Alfred Dunhill Championship), Alvaro Quiros (Omega Dubai Desert Classic) and Pablo Larrazabal (BMW International Open).

• Spain are still looking for their first victory in the Bankia Madrid Masters. There will be 22 home nation players competing, the oldest of which is 48 year old, Santiago Luna. The winner of the 1995 Madeira Islands Open will be making his 589th European tour start.




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