Young Guns Center Stage in Switzerland


Some of Europe's brightest young stars take center stage for this week's Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.
Heading that list is world No. 6 Sergio Garcia, who is making a rare appearance on the tour schedule outside the WGC events and the four major championships.
Garcia, with five career European Tour victories, makes his first start on European soil since the Open Championship and the first regular tour event since the Johnnie Walker Classic in April.
Joining Garcia in Switzerland is England's golfing future of Luke Donald and Paul Casey.
Donald, who's coming off a tough defeat in last week's BMW International Open where he held the 54-hole lead, is still searching for his first victory of the season. The 27-year-old Northwestern graduate had his breakout year in 2004, winning three times and finishing 20th on the Order of Merit.
Despite not visiting the winner's circle yet this season, Donald has six top-10s in the 11 European Tour events he's entered and is currently 12th on the money list. His final-round 73 in Germany dropped him into a tie for 11th.
Casey, meanwhile, has struggled somewhat this year although he did add his seventh career European Tour win at the TCL Classic back in March.
Not counting that win, Casey has just one top-20 finish to his credit in the 15 Euro events he has teed it up in 2005, and in eight of those he has either missed the cut or withdrew.
His performance in the majors has been especially rough, missing the cut at the Masters, a WD from the U.S. Open, another missed cut at the British before finally finishing in the money - albeit barely - at the PGA Championship (T59).
Getting back to Garcia, his 2005 campaign is one of mixed emotions. Dubbed by many now as the best player without a major, Garcia had hoped this would be the year to finally grab his first major championship.
Considered to be one of the best ball strikers in all of golf, it was his old nemesis - the flatstick - that ultimately left the 25-year-old Spaniard again on the cusp. He missed the cut at the Masters, but rebounded nicely with a tie for third at the U.S. Open followed by a tie for fifth at the Open Championship.
In between, Garcia picked up his sixth career PGA Tour victory at the Booz Allen Classic, marking the fifth year in a row is has won at least one tournament on either the European of United States tours.
The Golf Channel will televise all four rounds live beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (ET).
Next week the tour heads back into Germany for the Linde German Masters in Cologne, Germany.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Omega European Masters