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2018 European Men's Club Trophy: Preview

The European Men's Club Trophy, now in its 44th edition, returns to Golf du Médoc Resort this week for the second sucessive year. 25 clubs, represented by three-player teams, will compete for the European title over three rounds on the 'Les Châteaux' course in the outskirts of Bordeaux, France.

The total of the two lowest scores from the teams' three players on each of the three days, starting Thursday, will decide who lifts the trophy on Saturday afternoon.

Racing Club de France return as defending champions. In 2017, the three players on the French club's team, Sebastien Gandon, Frederic Lacroix, and Hugo Rouillon, all contributed two scores each to reach 12-under-par and claim the club's sixth victory in the event by a margin of 10 shots. However, Lacroix, who represented Europe at the Bonallack Trophy  and won the St Andrews Trophy with the Continent of Europe this year, is the only player that returns to the side to defend the title won last year on the same course.

Last year's silver and bronze medallists, Ireland's Galway Golf Club and England's City of Newcastle Golf Club respectively, both failed to earn spots this year, although 2016 Champions, Golf Saint-Germain en Laye, are in the field and aiming for their second title in three years.

Three other players in the field have represented the Continent of Europe this year. Eduard Rousaud, representing Spanish club, El Prat, played in the Jacques Léglise Trophy alongside Portugal's Daniel Da Costa Rodrigues, who is playing for Miramar Golf Club this week. Rousaud also won the European Boys' Team Championship with Spain in July, and was part of the European side that narrowly lost out to the USA in last month's Junior Ryder Cup at Disneyland Paris, while Da Costa Rodrigues was instrumental in Portugal's second-place finish at the European Boys' Team Championship, Division 2 in Hungary, and was in his country's men's team at the European Amateur Team Championship Germany.

Marc Hammer was part of the Continent of Europe St Andrews Trophy team that overturned a three-point deficit to Great Britain & Ireland heading into the final day at Linna Golf, Finland, to lift the trophy for the first time since 2012. The German player will represent Golfclub Mannheim-Viernheim alongside top-100 WAGR ranked player, Hurly Long, and Maximilian Bögel.

The reigning European Amateur Champion, Nicolai Hojgaard also tees it up this week. The Danish player has had an impressive season alongisde twin brother, Rasmus. This year, the pair won the Toyota Junior World Cup for Denmark, while also claiming the top two spots in the individual rankings, lifted the Eisenhower Trophy at Carton House alongside John Axelsen, and represented Europe at the Junior Ryder Cup on top of Nicolai's win at Royal Hague Golf & Country Club in June. The 17-year-olds will attempt to help Gyttegaard golf club to their first title alongside teammate, Jens Christian Tvergaard.