The Tropheé Hassan II was founded in 1971 under the name of the Moroccan Grand Prix. The name changed the very next year to honour Hassan II, the founder of the tournament and the King of Morocco from 1961 until July 1999. In those early days, it was a small scale pro-am tournament but it has grown over the years and was added onto the European Tour roster in 2010.
The Tropheé Hassan II has held at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, a Robert Trent Jones-designed course in Rabat, for each renewal except for five years from 2011 when it moved to Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir. The longer term host is a tricky course that often provides a stern test for the good fields who assemble each year for this well-regarded event.
|2019||Royal Golf Dar Es Salam||Jorge Campillo|
|2018||Royal Golf Dar Es Salam||Alexander Levy|
|2017||Royal Golf Dar Es Salam||Edoardo Molinari|
The 2020 tournament was cancelled.
2019: Jorge Campillo
It took 229 attempts, but Jorge Campillo can finally say that he is a European Tour winner. The 32-year-old broke his duck with a highly accomplished display of golf around Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. Speaking to the European Tour afterwards, Campillo said, “It’s been a long road. I’m grateful but it’s been way too long, way too many hours of work since I was a boy to today.”
That long road included several heart-breaking near misses for the Spaniard. He’d finished as the runner up on no fewer than six attempts previously so was understandably keen to make sure he did not suffer the same fate for a seventh time when he got took the lead from the man who held it overnight, Erik van Rooyen.
After a shaky start, Campillo found his best golf at exactly the right time. His first two birdies undid the early mistakes which saw him drop two shots in his first three holes and the next two saw Campillo go forwards while others were going in the opposite direction. In the end it was almost comfortable for Campillo as he won by two shots.
2018: Alexander Levy
Alexander Levy is a highly entertaining golfer. His is an all-action, swashbuckling game with a swing that borders on the wild and an aggressive style. Prior to this win at the 2018 Tropheé Hassan II, Levy’s four wins on the European Tour had come with scores of -19, -18, -19 and -17. However, he showed in Dar Es Salam that he has the ability to dig deep when the going is tougher.
Levy started his final round one shot off the lead held by Alvaro Quiros. That lead had gone by the second hole after a Quiros bogey and a Levy birdie saw the Frenchman hit the front. That was a lead that he was never to give up and he sealed the deal with a flourish courtesy of a birdie on his final hole of the tournament.
Although the Ryder Cup was five months away, the temptation to ask a French European Tour winner if he felt he could earn a place at Le Golf National proved too tempting for some journalists. Levy batted away those questions saying, “I need to work a lot, but I worked a lot the last two days, two weeks, and I won this trophy.” He added, “It’s a good win but I need to go back to work.”
2017: Edoardo Molinari
Winning the 2017 Tropheé Hassan II marked the end of a very long journey for Edoardo Molinari. The Italian had reached some lofty highs during his golf career, contesting major championships and playing in the 2010 Ryder Cup. He looked a shadow of that player for much of the five years prior to this tournament but finally got back to the sort of golf he is capable of in Dar Es Salam.
Going into the final round, Molinari wasn’t even the best placed Italian in the tournament. Renato Paratore held that distinction and he was two shots behind the 54-hole leader Paul Dunne. Perhaps due to the pressure of converting a lead, Dunne got off to a bad start with a bogey on the first. He would recover with a birdie on two but his best golf continued to allude him. Still, Dunne was in prime position and Molinari looked to be fighting for the places before he suddenly caught fire as he turned for home.
Molinari sandwiched his back nine with a pair of birdies, the latter ensuring that his 72nd hole of the tournament would not be his last. Dunne did enough to set up a playoff with Molinari but the Italian had all the momentum and he took only one more hole to secure a win that he described as “fantastic”.