European Tour adds April tournament in Spain
After years of losing Spanish tournaments, the European Tour finally received a modicum of good news with the addition of a new Spanish tournament to the 2014 schedule, albeit a small-purse event.
The NH Collection Open will be played at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf in southern Spain from April 3-6, 2014. The €600,000 (approximately $815,000) tournament will count towards both the European Tour and European Challenge Tour money lists, similar to the Madeira Island Open in May.
“We are delighted to announce this new tournament in southern Europe, and hope this is a sign of recovery after a difficult time economically in this region,” said Keith Waters, the European Tour’s chief operating officer and director of international policy.
“It will give our members another opportunity to play, and for Challenge Tour members the NH Collection Open is a great chance to earn instant promotion to the European Tour.
“La Reserva de Sotogrande is a superb Cabell Robinson design located in the iconic golfing region of Andalucía.”
The tournament to beheld near Valderrama brings the total number of Spanish events on this year’s European Tour schedule to two. There were seven Spanish events as recently as 2011. However, the Iberian nation had to shed tournaments as its economy suffered.
Spain’s place in European Tour history cannot be understated. It has long been the European Tour’s Continental European home. Indeed, there was a time when the European Tour began in Spain and ended in Spain.
The 144-man field will comprise of players in the lower regions of the European Tour food chain. However, given Spain’s troubles, the fact the Tour has added a new Spanish event is good news.