Jun 5th, 2021
Casey relishing defence of European Open title
Englishman has had to wait for his title defence in Hamburg
Photography: Getty Images
The Englishman has been forced to wait for his title defence at Green Eagle Golf Courses after last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the 15-time European Tour winner returns to the formidable Porsche Nord Course in high spirits after winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the season.
“I’m excited. It’s my second defence which was delayed, I had one in the States as well with the Valspar," said Casey.
"Finally, here we are. It means I had the trophy for an extra year. I’m super excited to be here."
Joining Casey in the field are Major Champions and Ryder Cup stars Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson, while the highest-ranked player in the field Abraham Ancer makes his Continental European debut this week in Germany.
Ancer is currently 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking and searching for a first victory since the Emirates Australian Open in 2018.
Also teeing it up in Hamburg this week is Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, fresh from his success at Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA where the 35-year-old stormed to a five-stroke victory and an eighth European Tour title.
There will be a maximum of 2,000 spectators per day in attendance this week as the first European Tour event on European soil to host general admission fans since October 2019 after local authorities gave the go-ahead as a model project.
The tournament will also be played over 54 holes, from Saturday to Monday, due to a late change in Covid regulations by the German government which placed the United Kingdom on its travel ‘red list’.
This week also marks the final opportunity for players to qualify for the U.S. Open through a mini ranking. The top ten aggregate Race to Dubai points earners not otherwise exempt from the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA and the Porsche European Open will earn their place at Torrey Pines.
Richard Bland, winner of the Betfred British Masters, and Guido Migliozzi cannot be knocked out of the top ten, and Wiesberger has also secured his place after returning to the top 50 in the World following his victory in Denmark. All remaining players currently occupying the qualifying spots could mathematically be knocked out of the rankings.