IAN POULTER ARRIVES TO PRAGUE, 12 YEARS OLD CZECH WILL PLAY CZECH MASTERS
Ian Poulter, as well as the youngest golfer in the history of the DP World Tour, 12-year-old Czech representative Louis Klein, will play their first D+D REAL Czech Masters.
The D+D REAL Czech Masters, tournament form the DP World Tour series, formerly known as European Tour, will be held for the eight time at the Albatross Golf Resort in Vysoký Újezd near Prague from August 18 to August 21. For the first time, the prize money is 1.75 million EURO.
If golf has any icons that transcend the boundaries of the sport, it is certainly England’s Ian Poulter. At 46 years old, he has over 20 seasons of world tournaments under his belt, winning plenty of them in that time, but he has also made his mark as a rebel. He brings energy, joy, tears to a quiet, still sport. His eccentric plaid pants outfits, wild haircuts in his youth, arguments with spectators and strong opinions have made him a global sports star. He is comint to the D+D REAL Czech Masters for the first time.
“We fought for his participation for four years. He had no special requests and confirmed that he would take part in all the accompanying events. At the same time, he will be one of the favourites to win. We don’t have an English winner yet. I like one thing about him. When someone tells him he can’t do it, it motivates him even more to prove that he can. It’s that will and that strength that got him to the top of golf. His strongest moments came in the Ryder Cup,” says Petr Dědek, owner of the RELMOST promotion company.
Apart from Poulter, Rory Sabbatini, representing Slovakia, for whom he won silver at last year’s Olympics, is also attracting attention. The Belgian Thomas Pieters, who won twice at Albatross and celebrated his first ever triumph on the European Tour, has arrived. He is currently sixth in the DP World Tour standings and is the highest ranked golfer in the series. This year he won the prestigious Rolex Series in Abu Dhabi and in June he finished second in Munich at the BMW International Open.
Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello will make his debut at the D+D REAL Czech Masters, while the title will be defended by American Johannes Veerman.
A record 17 Czech players will be in aplay. The professionals are represented by Filip Mrůzek, Ondřej Lieser, Stanislav Matuš, Jan Cafourek, Šimon Zach, Gordan Brixi, Aleš Kořínek, Michal Pospíšil, Jakub Bareš, Matyáš Zapletal, Štěpán Daněk and David Benák.
This edition will rewrite the history of the series. The tournament will be played by the youngest ever golfer in the history of the DP World Tour. The Czech Republic will be represented by only 12-year-old Louis Klein, who is one of the greatest golf talents not only in the Czech Republic and one of the five Czech amateurs. Dominik Pavouček and David Tomi will also make their big debuts, while Maxmilian Jelinek and Matěj Bača are about to make their second starts.
In a special position is Filip Mrůzek, who defends last year’s 12th place, which is the best Czech finish in the series since its inception in 1972.
The traditional general partner of the tournament is Raiffeisenbank.
“This year marks the 8th year of this golf festival, which I consider to be one of the proofs of the potential that this exceptional social game has. Even in difficult and turbulent times, it brings people together. After all, in the words of Dr Bob Rotella, golf is ‘much more a game about how you react to a bad shot than it is about one perfect shot’. Our aim is therefore to continue our long-term and meaningful support of golf not only through our partnership in the D+D REAL Czech Masters tournament,” says Igor Vida, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Raiffeisenbank, and adds: “After the experience of the previous editions, I am looking forward to the extraordinary spectacle that the game of golf legends, professionals and amateur players regularly brings.”
Once again, the Raiffeisenbank putt competition for CZK 100,000 will be part of the tournament days. The final will take place just before the ceremony on the green of the 18th hole.
The Czech Golf Federation as one of the main partners of the event and guarantor of the education of young golfers has had a very successful season this year.
“Czech competitive, or if you want to, representative golf is on the right track. Our women are a role model for the men and we believe that the Czech flags will soon be as high in the men’s categories as we are getting used to with the women. However, the euphoria of a successful season must not distract from the golf infrastructure that is so crucial to the development of our sport. The Czech Golf Federation is working closely with the Association of Golf Courses, state authorities and a selected subsidy agency to find ways to guide golf through the crisis that is plaguing and will continue to plague our society for many months to come,” says Vratislav Janda, President of the Czech Golf Federation.
Albatross Golf Resort prepares every year some novelties on the course. For this year there are two.
“The first new feature is the addition of three bunkers on hole 14, all of which have been placed in the landing zone. Two in particular to the left of the fairway are in the exact position where a significant number of drives landed last year.
The second change is on hole 17, historically the hardest hole with an average of 4.3 shots. We completely cleared the banks of the water hazard that lines the entire right side of the fairway, creating a grassy bank that extends all the way to the water. This feature is not only aesthetically pleasing, but by making the water feature now completely visible, it creates psychological pressure. Especially in a situation where we will be using the yellow tees from hole 16 for this year. The yardage is virtually identical, but the tee shot is completely different. We are curious to see what effect this change will have on the difficulty of the hole,” says Stanislav Lisner, General Manager of Albatross Golf Resort.
The tournament starts on Thursday morning. Two rounds on Thursday and Friday are followed by the cut and players up to 65th place will stay in the tournament until Sunday. We will know the winner of the eighth year on Sunday, August 21 after 5pm.