The European Tour rightly makes a big deal of the amount of globetrotting it does over the course of the year. But when the weather improves in Europe, the Tour returns to its roots and holds events all over the continent. The last fortnight has seen quality tournaments in England and Sweden and this week it’s time for the action to head to Austria for the Lyoness Open.
With the US Open taking place next week it’s no surprise that the field doesn’t jump out as particularly strong. However, there is much more to the Lyoness Open than immediately stands out. For a start, this is an event that means a great deal to those who host it. Having once been dropped even from the Challenge Tour rota, the event organisers worked hard to get back onto the European Tour and holding the event at the excellent Diamond Golf Course in Atzenbrugg has certainly helped.
The Diamond Course is a long one at 7,458 yards but it is much more than simply a brute off the tees. The layout includes short par fives, long par threes over water, scoring opportunities towards the end of the round and devilishly designed par fours that require the utmost accuracy. The small greens require top notch approach play while a good short game will come in handy to keep bogeys off the card. There is also the threat of water on many of the holes which is particularly dangerous given the likelihood of gusty conditions.
Proud Wiesberger to Wow the Home Crowd
The nature of the European Tour means that it’s rare for players to get the chance to play in their home country. You saw how much home support meant to Henrik Stenson at the Nordea Masters last week even if he didn’t have his best stuff and this week it’s time for Bernd Wiesberger to step up and fulfil the role of crowd favourite.
The Austrian’s excitement about the Lyoness Open has been obvious on his social media accounts. Wiesberger has been playing practice rounds at the course to get his eye in but this is a venue he knows very well. He reached 19 under par when winning the Lyoness Open in 2012 and can utilise his combination of power and ball striking to win once again at odds of 9/2 with Coral.
Bjerregaard’s Potential To Shine Through
It’s been a tough few months for Lucas Bjerregaard. The 25-year-old Dane has been tipped by many European Tour players to be the next young star to break through and go on a run of wins but so far he’s found it impossible to fulfil his undoubted potential.
Since placing 11th in the Qatar Masters at the start of the season, Bjerregaard hasn’t managed anything better than 27th place but that could be about to change this week. He is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour which will suit the Diamond Course and providing he strikes the ball well and remains confident on the greens, Bjerregaard could well claim that breakthrough win at a best price of 70/1 with Betfred.