HENRIK STENSON AT THE CZECH MASTERS FOR THE FIRST TIME, SILVER-WINNING OLYMPIAN SABBATINI AND 16 CZECHS IN THE GAME
The seventh D+D REAL Czech Masters will once again attract a number of golfing stars to the Czech Republic. Henrik Stenson is at the head of the list, and is appearing in Prague for the first time. This Major champion, Olympic medallist and winner of the PGA Tour and the European Tour in the same year will be introduced to Czech golfing fans from 19 to 22 August at Albatross.
“We have been working to get Henrik Stenson for several years now, and this year it finally worked out. He already has a series of huge wins behind him, has been an important part of successful European Ryder Cup teams, and is an example to so many players. We believe that more will be added with his presence in the Czech Republic,” says Petr Dědek, owner of the Relmost promotional company.
Another attraction for spectators will be Rory Sabbatini. A few weeks ago he won a silver medal for Slovakia at the Olympics. On Sunday he was a single shot short of progressing to the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour. This will be his second start at the Czech Masters
Padraig Harrington, the winner of two Opens and one PGA Championship, will be coming to Prague once again. Harrington is also the European Ryder Cup captain for this year’s battle with the United States to be held at the end of September at Whistling Straits. Masters champion Danny Willett will also be at Albatross again.
A record 16 Czech golfers have entered the tournament. Of the 12 professionals, currently the biggest star is Ondřej Lieser, who was recently the first ever Czech to take part in the Olympic golf tournament in Tokyo and, thanks to his overall win on the Challenge Tour last year, is a regular feature on the European Tour this year.
Of other Czech professionals, Stanislav Matuš, Filip Mrůzek, Gordan Brixi, Šimon Zach, Aleš Kořínek, Jan Cafourek, Jakub Bareš, Michal Pospíšil, Matyáš Zapletal, Lukáš Tintěra and Štěpán Daněk will appear at the tournament. Amateurs looking to gain some experience there will include Jiří Zuska, Kryštof Strýček, Maxmilián Jelínek and Matěj Bača.
“This year we have been able to arrange with the European Tour an increase in the number of places for Czech golfers. The tournament is here so that Czech golfers get a chance to play on a world-class tour, and gain experience, motivation and self-confidence. The Relmost promotion company has worked for a long time on the popularisation and visibility of golf in the Czech Republic,” Petr Dědek added.
Raiffeisenbank, the general partner of the tournament, is again planning a spectator competition for CZK 100 000.
“This year’s tournament will be exceptional for all the participants. The tournament was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and so we are meeting again after a break of two years. I believe that even more intense experiences lie ahead of us thanks from the performances of both professional and amateur players, but also the accompanying social programme and meetings with friends we have missed so greatly over the past months,” says Igor Vida, CEO and chair of the board at Raiffeisenbank, adding: “Visitors to the tournament will once again have the opportunity to enter a competition with Raiffeisenbank for CZK 100 000, and I am looking forward to giving this prize to somebody this year. Just as in previous years, we will be rewarding the best Czech player with a sum of CZK 20 000, while Raiffeisenbank will be sending the same amount of funds to support golfing activities at primary schools, a representative of which will be in the winning team from the exhibition on Tuesday.”
Just as in previous years, this year the players can expect something new on the course, this time completely reconstructed bunkers. The work was undertaken by architect Jonathan Davison, who has also designed the Heritage course at the Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia.
“Apart from the functional aspect, with the drainage system being cleaned and a special insulation layer laid, it was also a matter of improving the visual appearance. Every single bunker has been redesigned, while the overall impression is enhanced by the new light colour of the sand. Fifteen bunkers have also been cancelled, which will have a particular impact on amateur players. Perhaps the most significant change has been to the 15th hole, where we have removed a fairway bunker, but also two by the green. The left one has been replaced with a deep run-off, from where the return to the green is more difficult than from the original bunker. The course is in very good condition, the greens are fast, and we therefore believe that the players will truly enjoy their week at Albatross,” says Albatross Golf Resort General Manager Stanislav Lisner.
There will be a longest drive competition on the ninth hole in the final round for the fifth time. The first was won by Matthew Fitzpatrick, followed by German Christian Bräunig. Gavin Green from Malysia has held the record since 2018 with a drive of 322 metres, and the last competition was won two years ago by Frenchman Alexander Levy. They all won beer for a year from Pilsner Urquell.
Admission to the Czech Masters will once again be free for all registered golfers, and in addition will be free for every holder of any payment card from Raiffeisenbank, every spectator with a Fortuna ticket for a bet on the tournament of at least CZK 100, members of the Emirates Skywards loyalty programme, holders of employee cards from Plzeňský Prazdroj, and holders of Nespresso and GOPASS cards. Admission is free for children up to 15, seniors and holders of severe physical disability cards.
The Golf Channel will broadcast the whole event live with an international signal, meaning a total of 19 hours of live golf. ČT Sport will also be broadcasting live from Albatross throughout the four days.
Every spectator will get a free yellow radio operating on the 91.6 FM frequency, on which Czech Masters Radio will be broadcasting at the tournament location and its surroundings. You can listen to commentary from the course from Thursday to Sunday while players are still on the course. In the tournament village there will again be a food festival, while in the Brudra merchandising store spectators can look forward to a new clothing collection tailor made for the Czech Masters.