With Lee Westwood pulling out because of tonsilitis and Darren Clarke among a number of players taking a rest after the effort they put into their Ryder Cup bids, the field at this week’s Omega European Masters in Switzerland has been seriously weakened.
Miguel Angel Jimenez is the only member of Nick Faldo’s team taking part – and also the only member of the world’s top 50.
The 44-year-old Spaniard has hardly been heard of lately, but that is thanks to how well he played earlier in the season.
Jimenez effectively booked his place at Valhalla by winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May and since missing the halfway cut at The Open in the middle of July has played only six competitive rounds.
He was 10th in the Bridgestone world championship in Ohio, but then made crashed out early from the US PGA, the final major of the season.
Jimenez took three weeks off after that, but is now counting down to his third cap – all of them on United States soil.
Australian Brett Rumford is this week’s defending champion, having beaten England’s Phillip Archer in a play-off 12 months ago.
Rumford added his name to an illustrious list of winners of a tournament that was first contested in 1923.
It has been played at Crans-sur-Sierre every year since 1947, with Bobby Locke, Bob Charles, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Price, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Craig Stadler, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald among the champions.