Miguel Angel Jimenez Strong Spanish PGA field to vie for Open de Espana

A strong roster of Spanish golfers will be on hand tomorrow when the Open de Espana starts, and each will try to be the first Spanish native to win the tournament in five years.

Leading the pack of Spaniards is Miguel Angel Jimenez, who posted a strong showing last week at the BMW Asian Open, along with Jose Manuel Lara and Alvaro Quiros - who have already won on the European PGA Tour this season - and Alejandro Canizares and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

The last Spaniard to win the Open de Espana is Sergio Garcia, who took the title home in 2002 at the El Cortijo Club.

This week, the Open de Espana moves to a new home, the Centro Nacional de Golf outside Madrid, which was officially opened by Spanish King Juan Carlos I last year.

Besides a championship 18-hole golf course, the Centro National de Golf includes a full service golf acadamy and is now the new home to the country's Real Federacion Espanola de Golf.

During the last two years, the Open de Espana has come to be dominated by Swedes.

Peter Hanson won the event in 2005, and the defending champion is Niclas Fasth, who won the event last year in a bitter playoff with England's John Bickerton at the San Roque Club.

April 25, 2007

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