European Tour Back on Home Soil


European TourMADEIRA, Portugal -- The European Tour leaves Asia and heads back to Europe for this week's Madeira Island Open.
Last year, Jean Van de Velde held on to win for only his second career European Tour title.
Of course, Van de Velde is best-known for an altogether different finish: his bumbling, tragic and infamously bizarre collapse at the 1999 British Open. Last year, there would be no final-round collapse. Just a near-collapse when he survived a double-bogey at the 72nd hole to win by a shot over Lee Slattery.
Van de Velde had led by as many as five shots Sunday and was all but guaranteed a win after 71 holes. But, at the 18th, he hit into the tall grass on his second shot, came up short of the green on a pitch, and then knocked his fourth 15 feet past the hole.
Two putts later, the drama was over.
'I made the walk interesting,' the Frenchman said of his herky-jerky trip down the 18th fairway.
This event is being played opposite the CA Championship, the World Golf Championships event that strains the world's best players from tours around the world.
Thusly, a win at the Madeira Island Open is seen as being something less than a real win. But just ask Van de Velde if he cares.
Next week's event is the Open de Portugal, where Paul Broadhurst got up-and- down for a birdie last year at the 72nd to win by one shot over fellow Englishman Anthony Wall.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Madeira Island Open