For the second successive year, footballer Gareth Bale is lending his support to the Cazoo Open in an effort to grow the

game in Wales, and like last year’s event, the tournament is taking place at Celtic Manor.

Back then, Spaniard Nacho Elvira won an enthralling tournament after a playoff with Justin Harding.

That closely fought ending came after it had seemed Elvira was cruising to victory. He had a six-shot lead going into the final day,

which was gradually eaten away until he three-putted on the 18th to allow Harding a chance of victory.

However, in the first playoff hole, Elvira held his nerve to par and claim the trophy.

Elvira returns for this year’s event hoping to successfully defend his title, although there’ll be no Harding,

whose last tournament saw him finish 21st at the latest LIV Golf Invitational Series event in Bedminster. Another former winner in the field is Grégory Bourdy. The Frenchman claimed a two-shot victory in 2013, one of four European Tour wins in his career to date.

The highest ranked player in this week’s tournament is World No.102 Oliver Bekker. Englishman Jordan Smith, ranked four places beneath Bekker,

is the next highest-ranked, while Jamie Donaldson, at World No.165, is the player the home crowd will be pinning their hopes on to find a local champion.