The Omega European Masters will get under way on Thursday morning at the Crans-Sur-Sierre golf club in Switzerland, and both the US and British Open champions, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, will take part.
This will be the first event the Northern Irishmen will play in since their disappointing showings in the US PGA Championship in Atlanta when McIlroy finished tied for 64th after an injury hampered his play and Clarke finished 134th after missing the cut.
Rory McIlroy will tee-off against Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez and Korean rookie, 20 year-old Seung-yul Noh.
The cigar-smoking Spaniard disappointed in the Czech Open when he failed to make the cut at the Prosper Golf Resort, in which he helped design, and finished 110th.
Darren Clarke will tee-off with Italian Matteo Massanero and the winner of the Czech Open, the young Englishman Oliver Fisher.
Although the Czech Open’s entry list was missing some of the European Tour’s bigger names, the 22 year-old Englishman still managed to beat off challenges from the likes of Jimenez, Gary Boyd, Lorenzo Gagli and Irishman Damien McGrane.
McGrane finished 9th tied for 9th in the Czech Open and followed his form into the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles by finishing 31st.
The Meath man’s performances have been slightly more consistent than his Irish compatriots on the European tour but Peter Lawrie’s have also been improving as he finished 8th at Gleneagles, and McGrane’s absence from the Crans-Sur-Sierre this weekend will put more of the Irish spotlight on Lawrie.
Lawrie tees off with Australian Brett Rhumford and Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar, who tied for 8th at the Czech Open but neither of whom challenged at Gleneagles.
Shane Lowry will play alongside James Morrison of England and Johan Edfors of Sweden, with the Irishman’s most recent finish of 16th at the Czech Open a return to form after missing the cut at the Irish Open and the Open Championship.
Martin Kaymer is paired with last year’s Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen as well as Sweden’s Thomas Bjorn, the winner of last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie will also feature as the Ryder Cup winning captain will tee off with the Irish Open champion Simon Dyson while Westwood will play with the Nordea Masters winner Alex Norden.