The Andalucia Valderrama Masters returns to the European Tour schedule for the first time since 2011. Sergio Garcia defends and acts as tournament host.
The Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation will feature a number of star players including the host himself, another home favourite Jon Rahm, Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington.
This is the third running of the Valderrama Masters. It was first contested in 2010 when U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell took the title and then again in 2011 when it was home favourite Sergio Garcia who came out on top. It is six years since the event was last a fixture on the European Tours schedule.
The course at Valderrama is one of Spain’s best-known having hosted 16 Volvo Masters, the 1997 Ryder Cup, the Valderrama Masters of 2010 and 2011 and the 2016 Open de Espana. Constructed in 1974 by Robert Trent Jones Snr, it was expanded and improved when the club was acquired by Jaime Ortiz-Patiño in 1984. Further alterations were made for last year’s Open de Espana when cork trees were pruned on a number of holes.
Tournament host Sergio Garcia is looking forward to returning to the site of his 2011 triumph.
“Valderrama is a very special place for me, full of good memories,” he said. “Obviously the best was when I finally managed to win in 2011. It is one of my favourite courses, one of the best in the world, and I always enjoy playing there.”
Sergio Garcia swing video:
The tournament is set to benefit charities supported by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. All funds raised from the tournament will go to the X-ray unit of the Hospital Universitario La Paz.
The weather forecast looks pretty reasonable with nothing too worrying in terms of rain or thunderstorms.
Venue: Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain
Date: Oct 19-22
Course stats: par 71, 6,991 yards
Defending champion: Sergio Garcia (-6)
Thursday 19 – Sky Sports Golf from 11am
Friday 20 – Sky Sports Golf from 11am
Saturday 21 – Sky Sports Golf from 1pm
Sunday 22 – Sky Sports Golf from 1pm
Sergio Garcia – The tournament host and Masters champion won this event last time it was contested in 2011 and has stated how much he enjoys the course. He played some good golf in Italy last week and was in contention through 36-holes. Although he faded a little on the weekend, he’ll be feeling positive coming into this event on home soil.
Shane Lowry – The Irishman has a great touch and this will be important to success around Valderrama. He may have missed the cut in Italy but he was two-under for 36 holes and his performances in the British Masters and Dunhill Links suggested he’s knocking on the door of a return to form.
Marcus Fraser – Something of a long shot but Fraser did play well in last week’s Italian Open to finish fifth. Had it not been for a poor third round he could have contended for victory. He’s a great strategist and the testing course at Valderrama should suit his game.
Key hole: 17th. A brilliant risk and reward par five. 536 yards with water short of the green so the approach must be perfect, anything a little too soft will roll back into the hazard.
Skills required: Course management. Valderrama requires a tactical approach and damage limitation is often the order of the day. It’s not a course that generally produces low scoring – see Sergio’s winning total of -6 in 2011.