• Reed, Schwartzel top Porsche Open bill

    Charl Schwartzel and Patrick Reed
    Charl Schwartzel and Patrick Reed leave the 18th green in 2017

    The European Tour heads to Hamburg for the Porsche European Open where a pair of Masters champions  – Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel – headline the field.

    The event is celebrating 40 years since the first edition was held, with Green Eagle Golf Courses the ninth different venue to play host. England’s Jordan Smith won here last year, beating 2016 winner Alex Levy, another star in attendance, in a two-man play-off. The Englishman returns this week to defend his title and is joined by Paul Casey, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel in the field.

    It’s been a year Patrick Reed will never forget.

    A first Major Championship at The Masters in April was followed by an impressive fourth placed finish in a testing week at the US Open. The American tees it up in Germany this week with memories of a T19 finish last year and at the end of a solid run in Europe that included a share of 23rd at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

    Reed recovered from a shaky start at last week’s Open Championship to finish in the top 30 and undoubtedly heads to Germany as one to beat.

    His stroke average from the Masters onwards is a strong 69.4, including six sub-70 rounds in his last nine. If he comes out firing, expect him to be a strong contender for the title.

    Schwartzel will be looking to get back into the good form he was quietly building before missing cuts at the US Open and last week’s Open Championship. The South African is the fifth highest ranked player in the behind Reed, Casey and American Ryder Cup hopefuls Bryson DeChambeau and Pat Perez.

    Joining Schwartzel in the field are nine other South Africans with Zander Lombard hoping to bounce back from a poor final round on an otherwise very impressive showing at Carnoustie. Kyle McClatchie is another Saffa to watch this week as he finds his feet on the elite tours in Europe. After an impressive start to professional golf in South Africa, the Serengeti golfer, has struggled for any sort of consistency on the Challenge Tour and will be looking to take his gap this week.

    Reed and Schwartzel, 2018 and 2011 winners at Augusta, join defending champion Smith at 13:00 local time on Thursday.

    Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

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