The European Tour is always looking to break new ground and host new tournaments. This relentless drive for more and better events only accelerated after the enforced pause of the European Tour in 2020. Not only did the players on the European Tour miss a lot of golf but some tournaments fell by the wayside so there was scope for more new events in 2021.
The Canary Islands Swing was one of the innovations for 2021 with the new series kicked off by the Gran Canaria Open. To help give the new tournament a boost, Rafa Cabrera Bello went further than just supporting the tournament taking place at his home by becoming the official host at Meloneras Golf in Maspalomas, the first in the Canary Islands since the Open de Canaria in 1995. Given the setting and Cabrera Bello’s endorsement, it promises to be a popular event with players from around the world.
|2021||Meloneras Golf Academy||Garrick Higgo|
2021: Garrick Higgo
The inaugural edition of the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open was always likely to produce a lot of birdies. Meloneras Golf Academy is more used to hosting holidaying hackers than elite level golfers and the only surprise at the end of the tournament was that three holes had scoring averages above their par. This was a tournament in which players had to go seriously low to contend and Garrick Higo did that better than anyone else, winning his second European Tour with a score of -25.
Remarkably, the South African’s worst round of the tournament was the 65 he shot on Thursday. He followed that up with a 64 on Friday and then made a mockery of suggestions that the pressure could get to him with a pair of 63s at the weekend.
Higgo was very happy not just with the way he closed the tournament out but with his quality on Saturday as that was when his nearest challenger, Maximilian Kieffer, lost ground. The German opened his tournament with a 63 and ended it with a 62 but his round of 68 on Saturday left him with too much ground to make up and he was forced to settle to finish as the runner-up for the second European Tour tournament in a row.