Photograph by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
The European Masters has been held at this majestic resort in the Swiss Alps since 1939
By Kent Gray
Sculpted under the shadow of the imposing Matterhorn and Mont Blanc by the late, great Spaniard Severiano Ballesteros, Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club is one of the continent’s most recognisable courses. Home to the Swiss Open since 1923 and from 1983 rebranded as the OMEGA European Masters, the majestic venue 1500 metres above the Rhone Valley will make a welcome return to the European Tour schedule from August 26-29 after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Swiss Masters enjoys a rich roll call of champions including Bobby Locke, Dai Rees, Bob Charles, Ballesteros, Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Craig Stadler, José María Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett. It was also the scene of the first round of 60 shots on the European circuit, by Italian Baldovino Dassù in 1971, and created global headlines in 2006 when invited LPGA Tour star Michelle Wie (now Wie-West) carded rounds of 78-79 to finish last of the 156 players. Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg won the last edition in 2019 after a five-way playoff featuring Rory McIlroy.