The 39th edition of the Trophée Hassan II once again saw The European Tour given Morocco’s Royal seal of approval at the Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir.

England’s David Horsey returned to defend the title he won in front of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid against a top-class field including Colin Montgomerie, Francesco Molinari, John Daly, Rich Beem, Edouardo Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Robert Rock, Raphael Cabrera Bello and Michael Hoey.

This year’s Trophée Hassan II again welcomed the patronage of His Royal Highness at one of the truly unique destinations on The European Tour, with the Golf du Palais Royal forming part of the Palace grounds belonging to His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

For Horsey and the rest of the 124-man field set to do battle for the lion’s share of the €1.5 million prize fund, as well as the magnificent, jewel encrusted gold dagger that is presented to the champion, the Trophée Hassan II is a special tournament.

The Robert Trent Jones Snr-designed course is regarded as one of the great architect’s most impressive pieces of work. It’s an awesome course so I was looking forward to getting back there,” said Horsey, who won the title last year after a three-man play-off with 2010 champion Rhys Davies and Jaco Van Zyl. “It’s always in perfect condition, and to play in the Palace grounds of a King is always something special.”

Founded in 1971 by the late King Hassan II, the tournament fulfilled the King’s vision of bringing many of the world’s finest exponents of the game to Morocco, with legendary names such as Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els all lifting the trophy since its inception in 1971.

Since King Hassan II’s death in 1999, his sons, King Mohammed VI and Prince Moulay Rachid, have carried on the tradition of the tournament as they look to showcase Morocco as an outstanding destination for golf tourism.

After playing the tournament in a pro-am format over two golf courses last year, the 39th edition of Trophée Hassan II returned to a more ‘traditional’ professional event, with 124 players competing under regular stroke play conditions over the Golf du Palais Royal.

The Robert Trent Jones Snr-designed course is regarded as one of the great architect’s most impressive pieces of work and provided the perfect stage for one of The European Tour’s finest to produce a fitting and royal performance upon.

While The European Tour and its Members contest the Trophée Hassan II on the Golf du Palais Royal, the Ladies European Tour also descended upon Agadir in March, with the Coupe Lalla Meryem being played at the nearby Golf de L’Ocean.

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