Omega European Masters – Credit Suisse Gold Pro-Am 2017
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Omega European Masters – Credit Suisse Gold Pro-Am 2017

Credit Suisse has been an important partner of the Omega European Masters since 1984. Thomas Gottstein, CEO of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd., speaks in an interview about the long-term commitment and possible tournament favorites.

Mr. Gottstein, Credit Suisse has been involved in the Omega European Masters since 1984. It has been the main sponsor of the tournament since 1987 – so for 30 years.

We are proud of this long partnership. It shows our close ties to the sport of golf and to Crans-Montana. But it also stands for our strong roots in our home market of Switzerland and for our conviction that lasting success is based on trusting partnerships.

In 1987 the Swede Anders Forsbrand won. Do you remember that?

Of course. He was one of the best players of my generation. A fantastic sportsman, who at the time – if I remember correctly – won his very first professional tournament, thereby laying the foundation for a great career.

You also played that year as one of the best Swiss amateurs. Do you have fond memories?

To be honest I can't remember it that well anymore. But apparently I played two rounds of 73. A decent result, but a long way from the round of 65 with which I achieved the amateur course record in the Mémorial Olivier Barras Tournament in 1984. So the two rounds of 73 didn't make the cut either, because even in those days it was a high-caliber tournament with very many, very strong players.

The Credit Suisse Gold Pro-Am has excellent players again this year, including Alexander Norén, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Tommy Fleetwood.

Absolutely. And those are just a few of many more cracks. It is always fascinating and educational to play a round with them. Last year I was in the flight with Danny Willett, the winner of the US Masters 2016 – a wonderful experience. I'm already very curious to know who I will be lucky enough to get this time.

Speaking of winners: Will the title defender Alex Norén get his third title in Crans this year?

It's certainly possible. He's playing brilliantly again this year and won the BMW PGA Championship. But golf is notoriously unlike tennis, where one of the top-ranked players generally also wins. It's also possible that one of the legends will bag the title. Lee Westwood, for example. He will be there on May 14 and already won in Crans in 1999. That would be one of those nice stories we love about golf.