Besides the Spanish “Armada” and its superstars, including Jon Rahm –the defending champion- Sergio García, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José María Olazábal, the Open de España will enjoy an extensive cast of players including eight international stars.
Among them is Chinese player Haotong Li, a two-time winner on the European Tour -Volvo China Open (2016) and Omega Dubai Desert Classic (2018)- and a triple champion on the Chinese PGA Tour. Haotong Li become the first Chinese man to reach the top 50 in the World Ranking after his 2018 victory in Dubai. He was a precocious amateur, making his debut on the European Tour at just 15 years of age at the Chinese Open in 2011.
Irishman Paul Dunne will be another of the big attractions to tee it up at the Open de España. His first victory came at the 2017 British Masters. The same season he won the GolfSixes for Ireland alongside Gavin Moynihan. One of his most memorable moments came when he led the 2015 Open Championship as an amateur, setting a new record for a non-professional player of -12 after three rounds.
Two hugely promising players will represent the USA: Julian Suri and David Lipsky. Suri, a regular on the European Tour a few seasons ago, has two victories under his belt in Europe, one at the 2017 Made in Denmark on the European Tour and the other on the Challenge Tour at the Czech Challenge in the same year. A Duke University alumnus, Suri still holds the record there for the lowest average score per round for a season with 71.3.
For his part, David Lipsky comes to the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid with two titles to his name, the 2014 Omega European Masters –co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour- and the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa last year. Lipsky, who played on the Asian Tour for several years, picked up his first professional victory there at the Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic.
But without a doubt, one of the biggest rivals for the “Armada” will be English player Ross Fisher, a five-time European Tour champion and member of the 2010 European Ryder Cup team. The current record holder for the Old Course at St. Andrews with 61 shots at the Alfred Dunhill Links in 2017, Fisher will be seeking his first victory on Spanish soil at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.
The Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts -one of the tour’s biggest hitters- will be another player to watch at the Open de España. A two-time winner on the European Tour -Volvo China Open and Volvo World Match Play Championship-, Colsaerts became the first player from Belgium to play in the Ryder Cup in 2012, where he was a member of the famous team captained by José María Olazábal at the “Miracle of Medinah”.
From France, the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid will welcome Victor Dubuisson, another two-time winner on the European Tour -Turkish Airlines Open (2013 and 2015)-. Dubuisson was a member of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles, where he won 2.5 points from three matches to help the team keep its hands on the famous trophy.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson was alongside Dubuisson on the same team. The three-time European Tour winner was the player that claimed the point that won the Ryder Cup that year at Gleneagles. Donaldson cut his teeth on the European Challenge Tour, winning three times on Europe’s second tier before winning the 2012 Irish Open, his biggest title to date.