The European Tour is in Spain this week for the Castelló Masters Costa Azahar. Michael Jonzon defends the title while José Maria Olazábal and Sergio Garcia return to competitive action.
Garcia will host the tournament for the third consecutive year around the course where he was taught to play golf by his father Victor. He won the event in 2008 and finished fourth last season. He’s been out of form this year however so will be looking to bounce back after playing an important role at the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor as one of Colin Montgomerie’s vice captains.
Another vice captain from Celtic Manor, José Maria Olazábal makes a welcome return to the competitive arena this week. The 44-year-old has been battling rheumatism and tendonitis and has been able to play just one European Tour event since competing in this tournament last year.
“I’ve managed to make successful comebacks in the past, but it gets tougher as you get older,” he said. “Your physical condition is tougher to maintain, especially if – like me – you have gone almost three years without being able to exercise properly. It has been very frustrating not being able to play, not being able to practice and not feeling well. That hurts. But I’ve always been a positive person and I am already looking forward to getting myself fitter for next year.”
In last year’s Castello Masters Michael Jonzon was a surprise winner. He finished a shot clear of Martin Kaymer and Christian Nilsson.
With just one tournament left after this for players to secure their card for 2011, the pressure is mounting on those hovering around the 115 mark on the money list. Kenneth Ferrie 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, Valencia, Spain
Date: Oct 21-24
Course stats: par 71, 7,073 yards
Purse: €3,000,000 Winner: €333,330
Defending Champion: Michael Jonzon (-20)
Thursday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 11am
Friday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 11am
Saturday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 12.30pm
Sunday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 12.30pm
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano – The Spaniard was second last week in Portugal and is playing great golf from tee to green. If he can get his shaky putting in order, he’ll be a force this week.
Richard Green – Last week’s winner, Green will look to carry his form through to this tournament. He’s a streaky player so might well contend again this time out.
Joost Luiten – Second in last week’s Portugal Masters, Luiten has promised much since turning pro in 2006. He’s yet to secure his first European Tour victory but this could be the week.
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.