Five things to know as the European Tour returns to Diamond Country Club for the 2021 Austrian Golf Open.
An event with an extensive history
The European Tour heads to Diamond Country Club for this week's Austrian Golf Open, which has an extensive history on both the European Tour and European Challenge Tour.
The first edition of the tournament was held in 1990, with Germany’s Bernhard Langer claiming the inaugural title. In 1997 the event joined the European Challenge Tour schedule, before Austrian-native Markus Brier marked its return to the European Tour in style in 2006, with his third win at the event. From 2012 the tournament was known as the Lyoness Open, with another home hero, Bernd Wiesberger, claiming the title that year.
The event returned to the schedule last year after a break from both Tours in 2019 to mark the restart of the 2020 season – and Marc Warren prevailed to end his sixth year wait for a fourth European Tour title.
Luiten hoping to shine again
Joost Luiten will hope to add to an impressive list of results in Austria as he returns to the site of his second European Tour victory (which he won in 2013).
The Dutchman has teed up in this event seven times and is yet to finish outside the top 20 – which includes his win and four further top 10s.
“I’m feeling good, the game is good,” he said. “I had two weeks off, I’ve been practicing at home. I’m feeling ready to go this week. I’m using the practice days to get used to the conditions, it’s a bit nippy today!
“For some reason I like this course, it just suits my eye. You’ve got to hit the ball well, you’ve got to hit the greens so if I can play my game I know I can play well on this golf course and I know I can win on this golf course.
“It always helps when you’ve won in the past, you always go to that venue with a little bit more confidence and hopefully I can bring out on to the golf course this week.
“My game is always about consistency, hitting fairways and hitting greens and if I can putt well then I should be up there on Sunday which happened a couple of times. I couldn’t finish it last year but I think I’m very consistent with the ball-striking and if that’s there every week you’re never going to be far off scorewise.”
A different time of year, a different test
Last year's Austrian Golf Open was held in June of 2020, and it's typically been an event which has taken place over summer months, or even as late as September.
This year marks the first time Diamond Country Club has staged the tournament in April, and with temperatures signifcantly colder, Luiten says it will be interesting to see how differently the course plays.
“It will be interesting to see how the golf course will play this year because it’s something different playing so early in the season compared to playing normally in the summertime,” said Luiten.
“We had some cold days back home, so I had some good practice but it’s also new for us, we don’t know what to expect from the course. It will play a lot longer I think but I think there will be a little bit less rough than in the summertime because it hasn’t been growing that much.
Diamond Country Club
Diamond Country Club – a European Tour Destination – celebrates hosting the Austrian Open for the 11th time, having first held the tournament in 2010.
The course, which is located 35km from Vienna in the beautiful Austrian countryside, was designed by Englishman Jeremy Pern and opened in 2002.
European Tour veteran and fan favourite Miguel Ángel Jiménez has since remodelled some of the holes, including a complete redesign of the signature par four eighth hole.
Water is a notable feature on the course, with a lake hugging the right side of the scenic par three 18th, making for a memorable finish.
Fantasy Race to Dubai
The European Tour’s Fantasy Race to Dubai continues in Austria this week, and it’s never to late to sign up.
Players can create their own six-man team and compete in Private Leagues, Weekly Top 10 Challenges and Head to Head competitions, with prizes given out weekly and across the season.
Unsure who to pick? From Joost Luiten to the likes of Thomas Detry and Sam Horsfield, our Fantasy Golf Experts Kit Alexander and Sophie Walker have you covered as they explain who they favour in this week’s edition of Ones To Watch, (click here to read).
Sign up here:Et.golf/fr2d