A new tournament, the NH Collection Open, will be played at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf in southern Spain from April 3-6, 2014.
The €600,000 event will be dual-ranking, meaning the field will comprise players from The European Tour and the Challenge Tour, and prize money will count towards The Race to Dubai, the Challenge Tour Rankings and Ryder Cup qualification.
The field will consist of 144 professionals, with four places being allocated to tournament invitations, four to Spanish professionals and the balance of the field split equally between The European and Challenge Tour categories. For the purposes of the Challenge Tour Rankings only, the prize fund will be capped at €450,000.
It will be The European Tour’s first visit to the Andalucía venue, which opened in 2004 and has since become one of the most prestigious courses in the Costa del Sol region.
Spain has long been a strong partner of The European Tour, and following some tough economic challenges in recent years, the arrival of a new event is an extremely positive sign.
Ramón Luengo, Managing Director of Sotogrande SA, said: “We, NH Hotel Group and Sotogrande SA, have made a very big effort to attract The European Tour back to Sotogrande, where we would like the event to stay as a permanent date in the schedule.
“Hosting such a big event will be a challenge for La Reserva de Sotogrande. We are very confident that the spectacular course design will fulfil the players’ and the spectators’ expectations.”
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy of The European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce this new tournament in southern Europe, and hope this is a sign of recovery after a difficult time economically in this region.
“It will give our Members another opportunity to play, and for Challenge Tour Members the NH Collection Open is a great chance to earn instant promotion to The European Tour.
“La Reserva de Sotogrande is a superb Cabell Robinson design located in the iconic golfing region of Andalucía, and I’m sure the players will enjoy the tournament. Our thanks go to NH Hotel Group, Sotogrande SA and the members of La Reserva de Sotogrande for their support.”
European Tour www.europeantour.com