Final Chance for Many

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The European Tour's last full-field event is set to tee it up for the Telefonica Open de Madrid at the Club de Campo course in Spain.
 
The last event prior to the season-ending Volvo Masters Anadalucia holds quite a few subplots` including the race to finish in the top 115 on the Order of Merit (European Tour money list) which secures playing privileges for the 2004 season.
 
It's also the last chance for players to qualify for the lucrative Volvo Masters, where only the top 60 get invited to play.
 
Peter O'Malley is currently on the outside looking in, sitting in the 61st position. Arjun Atwal is in the 60th spot but won'l be playing this week, thus giving O'Malley a golden opportunity.
 
Another emotional subplot will be that of long time European Tour player Steen Tinning.
 
Tinning, ironically, returns as the defending champion of this event, but has announced that due to injuries, it will also be the last tournament of his career. It will be a nice way to go out for the 41-year-old Dane, who has two career tour titles to his name.
 
The Harry Vardon Trophy, which is presented to the player finishing first on the Order of Merit, has already been wrapped up as Ernie Els cruised to his fifth World Match Play Championship Sunday.
 
It is Els' first time to win the award following Retief Goosen's two-year run at the top. Darren Clarke currently is in second.
 
Els, Clarke and Goosen will not be in this week's lineup, but the field still is loaded with marquee players and offers a good look of the past, present and future of the European Tour.
 
Veterans Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal and Constantino Rocca will tee it up alongside current stars Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, while youth will be served with the likes of Adam Scott, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Telefonica Open de Madrid
  • This Week's Field