Austrian Bernd Wiesberger - the local hero - will begin his bid for a second Lyoness Open in the company of Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Frenchman Gary Stal when play gets underway tomorrow (Thursday) at Diamond Country Club.
Wiesberger, who hails from nearby Vienna, has an imperious record at the tournament having finished in the top five on four occasions with three of those coming in the last four years including his victory in 2012.
The World no. 37 will be looking to go one better than 12 months ago – when he lost out in a play-off to Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg.
Defending champion Lundberg opens his campaign with England’s Chris Wood and promising Frenchman Romain Wattel.
In 2014, Lundberg returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in six years and a gap of 125 European Tour events thanks to a 40ft birdie putt at the first additional hole with Wiesberger and is this week looking to make history by becoming the first player to successfully defend the title.
2009 winner Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who fired a sublime Sunday 60 en-route to his triumph at the Lyoness Open six years ago, starts alongside Frenchman Gregory Bourdy and Scot Richie Ramsay.
World no. 76 Ramsay needs to win and await the results of others in order to be in with a chance of rising into the top 60 in the World rankings and with it earn a place in the field for next week’s US Open at Chambers Bay in Washington.