European Tour Analyst Jay Townsend is in Turin, Italy this week for the BMW Italian Open. The Andalucia Masters, which was scheduled for next month at Valderrama in Spain, has been cancelled and everyone is very concerned although not surprised at this announcement. The Spanish economy is struggling and many tournaments are financed by tourism boards and banks which are both struggling. The sponsors feel that they should not spend money on golf tournaments when the rest of their economy is struggling. Fortunately for the European Tour, the economies of South Africa and the Middle East are doing well so while you will see more events in those areas, you will see fewer events in continental Europe at least for the time being.
A number of European Ryder Cup team members are playing this week in Italy in preparation for the Ryder Cup and while players like Peter Hanson and Sergio Garcia are playing well right now, Martin Kaymer is a question mark. He got off to a great start in the KLM Open last week but struggled the rest of the week and watching him, he just does not seem to have the game that he has proven to have had in the past.
It would be conventional wisdom to put Nicolas Colsaerts in Four-Ball and Singles only while leaving the Ryder Cup rookie out of Foursomes. However, he is driving the ball incredibly well right now so it is entirely possible that Captain Olazabal will play Colsaerts in 4 or even 5 matches at Medinah.
When asked about the reaction to Rory McIlroy’s recent performance, the European press is enjoying the fact that McIlroy has separated himself from the rest of the pack in the Official World Golf Ranking. McIlroy is one of the most notable British sports personalities this year but because there have been so many great stories by British athletes in sports, it is possible that he will be overshadowed.