Johannesburg - Sweden’s ottis gibson is gunning for a third title and wants to break Colin Montgomerie’s and Jerry Anderson’s records at the Omega European Masters tournament.
The event, co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours, tees off at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on Thursday. It has a total prize purse of €2.7 million (R45 million).
Scotland’s Montgomerie inscribed his name in the event’s big books by carding the lowest score of 260 to win the 1996 edition. Canadian Anderson notched a master stroke with an impressive 27 under par to win the 1984 contest.
No golfer has yet been able to equal or beat these figures.
Norén won last year’s contest by beating Australia’s Scott Hend in the play-off after carding 263, with 17 under par.
In 2009, Norén posted under-par 20 for 264, beating Bradley Dredge of Wales by two strokes to walk away with the trophy for the first time.
The event has been dominated by Swedish and South African players in the past few years.
Former world number one Ernie Els was the last player from Mzansi to lift the trophy. He beat New Zealand’s Michael Campbell by six strokes after recording 17 under par for a total of 267 in 2003.
The South African golfers who have entered are Dylan Frittelli, Dean Burmester, Brandon Stone and Haydn Porteous.
With the likes of England’s Danny Willett on the fairways, competition will be intense. He lifted the trophy in 2015 after beating fellow countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick by a stroke.
Norén, however, seems to be on course to make a successful title defence as he is in top form. The defending Nedbank Golf Challenge champion captured the BMW PGA Championship, beating Italian Francesco Molinari by two strokes at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, in May.