Host country star Miguel Angel Jimenez will share the spotlight with reigning Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie. Monty is a past winner of the event, although it did come more than a decade ago in 1994. Jimenezs best effort is a runner-up finish in 1999.
The last Spaniard to win was Sergio Garcia, who titled in back in 2002 and has not played in the event the last two years. Legend Seve Ballesteros won the event three times during his career, the last coming in 1995.
Keeping with the host country theme, last week's BMW Asian Open champion Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano helps fill out a large Spanish contingent competing for the title. Fernandez-Castano shocked the 13th ranked player in the world Henrik Stenson - with a tap in birdie on the first playoff hole last week in China for his second career European Tour title.
Defending champion Peter Hanson will return to try and accomplish something no one has done in this event in over 50 years - repeat as champion. Hanson beat Peter Gustafsson in a playoff last year for his maiden Euro title. It was the second playoff in the past three editions played.
Other notable winners of this event include Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer and Arnold Palmer, who was crowned champion back in 1975.
The purse for the event is $2,045,996 with $340,999 going to the winner.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds live beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
The tour heads across the Mediterranean Sea next week for the Telecom Italia Open.