The European Tour is in Spain this week for the Castelló Masters Costa Azahar. Sergio Garcia defends the title around his home course while Martin Kaymer makes his return to competitive action.
Garcia will host the event at the course he played as a boy and where his father is still professional. Despite playing some scrappy golf at times over the four days, the 28-year-old came out on top of the field in the inaugural event last year, holding off the challenge of Swedes Peter Hedblom and Alexander Noren.
“It was a very special victory in front of all my family, friends and members of the club where I have grown up as a player and as a person,” Garcia said. “Many people came to watch that day and they made me feel they wanted me to win, which is something I will never forget. I started crying during the prize giving as it was so emotional!”
Currently 13th on the Race to Dubai, Garcia will be hoping to secure victory this week and climb the standings.
After seven weeks out of action with a broken foot, Germany’s Martin Kaymer is in the field at the Club de Campo del Mediterráneo. The former leader of the 2009 Race to Dubai, Kaymer has been overhauled in recent weeks, firstly by Rory McIlroy then by last week’s winner Lee Westwood.
“I am really looking forward to getting back out on the golf course and trying to make up for lost ground on The Race to Dubai,” said Kaymer. “My foot has healed well and the doctor has told me that I am fit to play, to put pressure on the foot and play normally. Obviously this is my first tournament back so I do not know exactly how I am going to feel after 72 holes, but I think that it will be alright.”
With just a few tournaments left in the 2009 season, the pressure is mounting on those hovering around the 115 mark on the money list. Jyoti Randhawa is currently in 115th spot and, if things finished as they stand now, he’d be the last man to retain his Tour card.
Venue: Club de Campo del Mediterráneo
Date: October 22-25
Course stats: par 71, 7,111 yards
Purse: €2,000,000 Winner: €333,330
Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia (-20)
Thursday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11am
Friday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11am
Saturday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 1pm
Sunday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 12pm
Sergio Garcia – The Spaniard is looking to climb the Race to Dubai standings. This is the perfect venue for Sergio to make a charge. He grew up on the course and was winner here last season.
Angel Cabrera – He’s always capable of producing spectacular golf and, on his day, can beat anybody in the world. If he’s on-song he’ll contend this week.
Martin Kaymer – It’ll be interesting to see how the German plays following his injury-enforced lay-off. He’ll be desperate to finish well to move back towards the head of the Race to Dubai.
Key hole: 17th. A long par-4 that can be stretched over 500 yards, this hole will require two solid blows. Water on the left side might come into play off the tee but the players will want their drives to go as far left as possible to afford the best angle of attack into the green.
Skills required: Beating Sergio. Garcia grew up playing this course so he knows it like the back of his hand. Last season he won and didn’t even have to play spectacularly well to do it.