Barcelona Open during week of the Masters

The Real Club de Golf El Prat will host the second edition of the Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal

by Andrea Gussoni
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Barcelona Open during week of the Masters

The Real Club de Golf El Prat will host the second edition of the Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal, which will take place during the week of the Masters, from April 6 to 9. The historic Barcelona club has already hosted the first edition of this PGA Spain tournament with great success.

The previous edition of this tournament, promoted by the professional player Pablo Larrazábal, was won by the Andalusian Ángel Hidalgo, who this season is taking part in the DP World Tour.

Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal, schedule

The Barcelona Open will be held at the Club where Pablo Larrazábal has been a part of since his beginnings in golf.

The president of the PGA of Spain, Ander Martínez, has thanked Pablo Larrazábal and Álvaro Velasco, also a professional player and member of the Club, "for their effort and commitment in moving forward with this tournament and their support for the national circuit".

The RCG El Prat, founded in 1912, has a field and perfect facilities to host this type of competition. Many players on the European circuit, including Larrazábal himself, choose El Prat to train throughout the season.

The RCG El Prat course is made up of 45 holes designed by former golf number 1 Greg Norman. Throughout its more than 110 years of history, the RCG El Prat has hosted 10 editions of the Spanish Open (1959, 1963, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2011 and 2015).

Professional golf originated in Europe, specifically in Scotland. The first professionals were craftsmen who built the clubs and course managers who also taught golf to the wealthy who could afford to play (the first equipment, all handmade, was very expensive) and played a few games against each other in exchange for small fees.

The first tournament with multiple entrants was the British Open, created in 1860. That year it was restricted to professionals and featured eight players. The following year, amateurs were also admitted. Contrary to what happens in other sports, the difference between amateurs and professionals has never created particular problems, at least at the highest levels of competition.

In the decades following the birth of the British Open, the number of tournaments offering cash prizes slowly but steadily increased. Most took place in the UK, but several national open tournaments were also held in various countries in mainland Europe.

However, for several years it was impossible for players to support themselves only thanks to the prizes won. Beginning in 1901, British professionals were represented by the Professional Golfers' Association, which eventually created the European Tour.

After the Second World War the prize money began to increase significantly, also thanks to the television coverage of the competitions. However, each tournament remained organized separately by a single club, by an association or by a sponsor.

The PGA Tour had already existed in the United States since the 1930s, so in 1972 the Professional Golfers' Association founded the European Tour. In the early years, the season lasted six months, ran from April to October and took place entirely in Europe, in Great Britain and Ireland.

For example, the 1972 season consisted of 20 tournaments, 12 of which were in the United Kingdom and one in Ireland. Of the seven tournaments played in continental Europe, six were the national open i.e. the Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Swiss ones, while the seventh was the Madrid Open.

Barcelona Open
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