Golf News 2021
Fitzpatrick wins Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters 2021
The Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick wins the Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters. Fitzpatrick ousted his compatriot Laurie Canter on the final day and successfully lifted the prized title of champion. Larrazábal finished as the best Spaniard (20th), but the joy for the local spectators was to see Álvaro Quirós who finished 46th in play.
The last day in Valderrama Fitzpatrick shone with 69 strokes to make his final score card over four days 278 finishing 6 under par. His opponents, including Canter the overnight leader collapsed on a course that does not take prisoners in a bad day.
“It's on the bucket list to win round Valderrama with the history that it has. To do it bogey free on Sunday as well is extra special. I'm delighted. It's amazing, particularly way I did It - very patient all day, didn't try to press anything, stuck to our targets and managed to hole the putts at the end. I'm delighted with the win. You can hit half decent shots and be behind a tree and you're chipping out or you've got to maneuver something, it's a true test and to be patient the whole 72 holes, I'm really pleased with the way my attitude was all week.” explained Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is the first English winner of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters. This was his seventh European Tour victory in his 154th appearance. His most recent victory was at the 2020 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after sharing the 54-hole lead with Laurie Canter and Patrick Reed.
Laurie Canter the overnight leader at -7 and three strokes ahead of Fitzpatrick got off to a hopeful start, but was soon gripped by two errors in a row that ultimately cost him the tournament. The birdie on hole 5 was followed by two disastrous holes 6 and 7, in which a bogey and a double bogey wiped away his lead advantage. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick his round partner went from less to more, without errors, being the only player who on Sunday did not commit a bogey.
In this edition of the tournament the spectators did not witness a Spaniard fighting for the title on the final day, as has happened in previous years with the two wins of Sergio García in 2017 and 2018. There was also the joint second place in 2019 of Jon Rahm, Álvaro Quirós, Eduardo de la Riva and Adrián Arnaus behind the winner, South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
This year the best classified Spaniard was Pablo Larrazábal, in twentieth position, with +1. Local player Álvaro Quirós was 46th (+5) left feelings of a ‘regular’ performance throughout the tournament. Álvaro knows better than anyone that it is not easy to navigate Valderrama well for four consecutive days.
Andalucia Masters - day three
Field led by English man Laurie Canter with -7.
Andalucía Masters, day three changed the leader board completely. It was led by English man Laurie Canter with -7. With the wind dropping the golfers managed rounds with average score of 71.7, much better than the previous two days of 74.3 and 73.4.
Canter stayed ahead of his compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick, Ryder Cup player and only ‘top’ played in the running after the departure of Jon Rahm on Friday and the descent of Rafa Cabrera Bello on Saturday.
Up to ten countries are represented among the top fifteen and non of them have won this tournament before . They will crown a new champion at Real Club Valderrama on Sunday.
Canter is the only player in the top eight who has not yet won a European Tour event
“I don’t always have that (a calmness), but it’s something I actively try and work on – to be as level as I can be out there. It helps on a course like this. You have to be. The score almost goes out the window at times, usually that’s a governor of how you feel. The course is asking a lot of different challenges and you can’t dwell when it goes against you. I’m trying to stay as level as I can and I’m doing a good job.
The golf course doesn’t give you loads. Although, as we all know, there’s opportunities to drop shots here. I think what it means is I can go out tomorrow and play how I have these last couple of days. The score I end up on will be competitive, I think. That gives me a lot of confidence going in. Having said that, we know what the course is like. The last five or six holes the wind came up from nowhere and the finishing holes are really tough. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with that tomorrow. There’s a whole load of things that can change on the course.
I don’t know how you can go for some of the pins. The way my caddie and myself go about it, we’re looking more at zones and channels on the greens. If you get a good number and the green is receptive you can have a bit of a dig. A lot of the time it’s playing to zones 15 or 20 feet, a lot of the time that’s a really good shot – giving yourself a chance with the putter. Then if you take advantage of the par fives they can potentially give you birdies."
Madrid born Sebastián García Rodríguez was the leading Spaniard, sharing a crowded tenth place.
“I have always liked this field because it is grateful. If you hit the ball well, he will respond and I refer to the facts, since I have been hitting them very well for three days, ” explained García Rodríguez. "The putt has been my best weapon today, but in Valderrama you need all fourteen clubs."
Malaga-born Alejandro Cañizares is +1, followed by Pablo Larrazábal and Rafa Cabrera Bello with +2. Alvaro Quiros from Guadiaro finished +4.
Special excitement created by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger's eagle on hole 1, a 365-meter par 4 that he completed in two strokes. The player from the European Ryder Cup team left the tee shot about 90 meters from the flag and managed to hole out with the wedge.
67 players continue and will tee off on hole one from 08.45 to 12.50 in 23 groups of three for the final round on Sunday.
Andalucia Masters - day two
Rham says goodbye to Valderrama
Exciting outcome of the second day of Andalucía Masters, with Jon Rahm humbly saying goodbye to the public who gave him a standing ovation on the 18th green of the Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande It was a faithful reflection of the passions that the world number one arouses among the fans. This was the culmination of an intense second day full of contrasts that finished with the Frenchman Romain Langasque in the lead with -4 (after two days) and with Alejandro Cañizares two strokes as the best Spaniard.
Rahm recognized what was his main motivation to come to this tournament.
“The public is the reason why I have come, apart from wanting to win. I understand that reaching the level that I have reached, I can help Spanish golf. I remember when I was little when I came to the Volvo Masters, seeing the players gave you a lot of push, now I'm going to sign autographs because I remember when they signed my shirt in 2008 or 2009 and moved me. Perhaps the next benchmark for Spanish golf is here. I am realizing that I have messed it up ”.
The Frenchman Romain Langasque, winner of the Amateur Championship 2015 and already with a victory on the European Tour, threaded an orderly round in which his eagle on the 17 stands out. It is one of the most emblematic holes at Valderrama. He signed his second 69 to beat a quartet made up of Swede Sebastian Söderberg, New Zealander Ryan Fox and Englishman Laurie Canter ( 65 today) and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Just two behind the leader, the Malaga-born Alejandro Cañizares asserted his status as a local player to finish off his return in spectacular fashion. The Real Club Valderrama member had reasons to finish satisfied and wanted to emphasize the character of the Sotogrande course.
“Valderrama is an example that a course, without being long, can be one of the most difficult if not the most difficult of the year and it would be nice if there were more courses like this. Obviously, I'm not a great puncher and it suits me well, but a field is more beautiful than one in which you have to hit 350 starting yards. More courses like Valderrama would do golf a lot of good ”.
Behind, Rafa Cabrera Bello who had a difficult day on Valderrama's firm greens, he paid dearly for his few errors with the long game, but he managed to contain the damage and finish on par in thirteenth place.
With stroke more, Sebastián García Rodríguez from Madrid and Pablo Larrazábal from Barcelona, were sixteen, and Jorge Campillo from Extremadura with +2. Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño and Adrián Otaegui (+3), local Álvaro Quirós and Nacho Elvira (+4), and Santiago Tarrío (+5) also just made the cut.
A surprising large number of spectators watched 125 players tee off in quartets again on the second day. The cut was +5 or 147 strokes on the 71 stroke par course. 67 players made the cut and will tee off on hole one from 08.50 to 12.55 in 23 groups of three for the third round on Saturday.
Andalucia Masters - day one
Cabrera Bello in second place behind Julien Guerrier after day one of 2021 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalusia Masters
It is difficult not to resort to similes when talking about Rafa Cabrera Bello after his exhibition last week at the Spanish Open and his great debut at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters. It is clear that the man from Gran Canaria has caught a wave and does not intend to loose it. Cabrera Bello finished a stroke behind the leader, Frenchman Julien Guerrier, after signing 68 strokes in the first round, a result that gains admiration taking into account the challenging playing conditions today at Real Club Valderrama.
The wind that blew during the day on Thursday highlights the merits of the Spaniard, fully aware of the difficulty of the day.
In contrast to frontrunners, Jon Rahm had a difficult start and was accumulating ballast on the outward nine. Although he never lost his cool, on the return his performance improved remarkably with the passage of the holes, the putt did not support him and he did not manage to regain ground. So far there are only ten players under par.
In the lead, Julien Guerrier was impeccable from tee to green and splashed his lap with some long-distance hits on Valderrama's firm greens. The Frenchman, third last week at the Spanish Open, seems to have caught the same wave as Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Patience has been the word most used by players, especially those who have already played Valderrama on several occasions. Sebas García from Madrid stated that “today's game would have been for -4 or -5 in any other week, but here it is +1 and to leave very happy. In these two years on the Tour I have learned to have patience and mind, and on days like this they are absolutely necessary ”.
Fitzpatrick and Wiesberger set for Valderrama
Team Europe Rydercuppers come back to Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters
Matt Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger will add further star power at this year’s Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters as the 2020 Ryder Cup players confirmed they will be teeing it up at Real Club Valderrama from October 14-17.
Fitzpatrick, who played in his second Ryder Cup last month at Whistling Straits, will be returning to Valderrama after his first appearance in 2019, while Wiesberger, the first player to represent Austria on Team Europe, will return after his debut in the event last year.
The pair join World Number One Jon Rahm and fellow Ryder Cup players Thomas Bjørn, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Martin Kaymer in the field at the second of three consecutive events taking place on Spanish soil.
“Valderrama is a great course and I’m looking forward to coming back,” said Fitzpatrick, who won his sixth European Tour title at last year’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. “It’s a tricky layout and you really need to keep the ball in play; it’s a test I think we’re all looking forward to.”
Eight-time European Tour winner Wiesberger said: “I really enjoyed playing at Valderrama last year. It’s a course with a lot of history and it’s a fantastic test of golf.
“It has been a great year for me with the win in Denmark and playing in the Ryder Cup. I hope to keep this momentum going and finish the season with some strong performances.”
Two-time Major Champion Kaymer finished runner-up to American John Catlin, who will return to Real Club Valderrama to defend one of three European Tour titles he won in the space of just eight months. After triumphing in Spain, he won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open three weeks later and then won the Austrian Golf Open in April this year.
Kaymer and Bjørn excited for Real Club Valderrama return
Ryder Cup stars Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjørn will return to Valderrama.
Former World Number One Martin Kaymer has made no secret of his desire to win at Real Club Valderrama, citing the course as one of his favourite layouts, while Bjørn made his Ryder Cup debut under the captaincy of Seve Ballesteros at the venue in 1997 – a journey which culminated in him leading Europe to glory 21 years later.
Two-time Major Champion martin Kaymer was runner-up at last year’s event, finishing one stroke behind American John Catlin. The pair join current World Number One and two-time Ryder Cup player Jon Rahm and 2016 Ryder Cupper Rafa Cabrera Bello.
“Since the first time I played this course in 2007, it has been a career goal of mine to win at Valderrama,” said Kaymer. “Coming so close last year has only added fuel to that fire and I’m really looking forward to having another chance to return to Sotogrande later this month.
“I’ll never forget my first practice round at Valderrama. It was just me and a golf trolley and it was one of the most enjoyable rounds I’ve ever played.”
Thomas Bjørn is Denmark’s most decorated golfer, with 15 European Tour victories and three winning Ryder Cup appearances as a player to his name, and he returned to the winner’s circle earlier this year, earning his first Legends Tour title at the Irish Legends hosted by Paul McGinley. He can’t wait to return to Real Club Valderrama once again.
“Valderrama is one of the best courses in Europe and I always enjoy coming back,” said the Dane. “1997 was the start of an amazing relationship with the Ryder Cup and being part of an incredible team with so many of my heroes is such a special memory – those memories come flooding back every time I visit.”
Real Club Valderrama, a forge of champions
Jon Rahm seeks to join the illustrious list of Estrella Damm N. A. Andalucía Masters
For almost 35 years, the European Tour and Real Club Valderrama have set up one of those successful pairings that empower and reinforce each other, and this association has yielded a notable list of champions. Jon Rahm will tee it up at the Estrella Damm N. A. Andalucía Masters from October 14-17 looking to add his name to the roll-call of major champions who have also won at Valderrama.
All along this time, Real Club Valderrama has played host to 25 European Tour events ̶ 16 Volvo Masters, two American Express Championships, one Open de España and six Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters ̶ to which must be added the 1997 Ryder Cup where the great late Seve Ballesteros efficiently and enthusiastically led Europe to victory against a powerful U.S. team including Tiger Woods, arguably the best golfer ever.
With its challenging fairways and pristine greens, Valderrama is well known as a fair and demanding judge, and this can easily be confirmed with just a quick look at the big names that make up its winner’s list. Major champions having lifted the Volvo Masters trophy include Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Justin Rose…, while Tiger Woods and Mike Weir prevailed at the American Express Championship. Later on, the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters was won by Graeme McDowell and Sergio García, also crowned at the highest level of world golf after claiming the U.S. Open and the Masters respectively.
Jon Rahm, the first Spanish winner of the U.S. Open, will take on Real Club Valderrama for the third time next month, having played two previous editions of the event with marked progress. After missing the cut in 2017 at his first professional appearance on Spanish soil, he performed well in 2019, as he fought for the title right up to the last hole to finish tied second alongside countrymen Adri Arnaus, Álvaro Quirós and Eduardo de la Riva and France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera, behind winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Since his debut in 2017, Rahm declared himself a big fan of the prestigious venue:
“Valderrama is one of the best layouts I have ever played. It is visually attractive and wonderfully maintained. Golf courses don’t need to measure 10,000 yards to be challenging. I find Valderrama very exciting and a good test. You really have to think your way through and play all kinds of shots. Mistakes can be costly, so it keeps you on your toes.”
Andalucía Masters 2021, Valderrama, 14th to 17th October 2021
Tickets are now on sale for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, a golf event that will gather the best European Tour players at Real Club Valderrama from October 14-17. The best course in Spain according to the most prestigious golf publications, will once again serve as an impeccable venue and will host the seventh edition of the Spanish tournament with the highest prize money on the European Tour this season.
The line-up, the unbeatable setting of Real Club Valderrama (which has already hosted twenty-five European Tour events, the changeable wind, in the area are assets that, once again, will offer a spectacle for all audiences.
Catlin’s victory last year after beating Martin Kaymer. was the second win of an American golfer at the Real Club Valderrama. The golfer from Sacramento followed the steps of Tiger Woods, who won the WGC American Express Championship at the San Roque course in 1999.
Aramco Team Series golf tournament in Sotogrande
Ashleigh Buhai's team claimed victory at Sotogrande as Alison Lee earned her first professional win. Team Buhai, also featuring Stacy Lee Bregman, Hayley Davis and amateur Ignacio Morillo, edged Team Strom, captained by Linnea Strom, at the first playoff hole after both sides had finished level on 35 under par. "It was a team effort, we all pulled our part this week" said Buhai.
The second round of the Aramco Team Series golf tournament, which is part of the 2021 Ladies European Tour took place at La Reserva de Sotogrande on August 5th to 7th. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the Singapore event had been rescheduled to La Reserva de Sotogrande. Players include Georgia Hall, winner of the British Open, Charley Hull, Bronte Law, Lizette Salas, Moriya Jutanugarn and Alison Lee. There were 13 Spanish players including from Andalucia Ana Peláez, Laura Gómez or Noemí Jiménez.
The Aramco Team Series is the first team event series of its kind on any professional tour. Taking place across three continents, the tournaments see the world’s best players team up with an amateur golfers to compete for a $1m prize fund. Using a unique draft system, team captains will pick one pro teammate, before being allocated a third via a random draw. Completing each team will be one amateur golfer. As well as competing for the team trophy, the professionals will also vie for an individual title, offering Rolex Rankings and Solheim Cup ranking points, and will be part of the Race to Costa del Sol Official Rankings.
Other dates scheduled for 2021 by Aramco for the series were London (July 8 at the Centurion Golf Club in St Albans) and will be New York (from October 14 to 16) and Jeddah (from November 10 to 12).
Other 2021 Ladies European Tour, tournament dates in Spain are Terramar in Sitges and Los Naranjos Golf Club in Marbella (from 25th to 28th November).
Sotogrande Golf Challenge
Sotogrande Golf Challenge is a new amateur golf tournament is taking place at seven courses in the Sotogrande area in 2021
The circuit begins on June 26 at Reserva de Sotogrande and Alcaidesa Links and will continue on July 10 and 24 at San Roque Club, followed by August 14 at Almenara, and August 28 in La Cañada and then September 18 and 19 at the Real Club Sotogrande.
The 24 best pairs (12 scratch and 12 handicap) will then compete in the Grand Final on November 11 at the Real Club Valderrama just a few weeks after the Andalusia Valderrama Masters 2021 takes place there. 200 participants are expected to enrol for the tournament, registration fee is 750€ (or 500€ club members) and the deadline 17-06-2021 at www.sotograndechallange.com.
Los Naranjos Golf Club is venue of Spain’s Andalucia Costa del Sol Open 2021
21-04-2021 Los Naranjos Golf Club hosts this decisive tournament of the ‘Race to Costa del Sol’, the Ladies European Tour ranking to be held between 25 and 28 November 2021. The ‘Race to Costa del Sol’ is the order of merit of the Ladies European Tour.
The winner of this prestigious tournament and the top classification in the Ladies European circuit could be again a double crown like last year when Danish Emily Kristine Pedersen won after fighting an exciting duel with the Spanish Nuria Iturrioz and Ana Peláez.
Los Naranjos Golf Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1977 and is located in the heart of Nueva Andalucía, Marbella. Interestingly the course is able to offer a different route between the first and second round. It is essential for the players to drive long from the tee especially playing in threes. The distribution of the holes is diverse for the golfers and several holes must be mastered from certain strategic points.
This is the eight time the costa del Sol has hosted the tournament. Previous editions were played at Flamingos in 2010, La Quinta in 2011 and 2018, Aloha Golf in 2016 and 2019, and the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina in 2017 and 2020.
The Andalusia Costa del Sol Open in Spain, again sponsored by the Junta de Andalucía, Costa del Sol tourist board, and Acosol - Association of Municipalities of the Western Costa del Sol. € 600,000 that will be the prizemoney for the tournament and € 250,000 for the three best classified in the annual ranking.
The Committee of Honor is chaired by Her Majesty, Queen Letizia, is made up of Mr. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government; Mr. Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee; Mr. Juan Manuel Moreno, president of the Junta de Andalucía; Mr. Francisco Salado, president of the Diputacion de Malaga (Malaga Provincial Council); Mr. José Antonio Mena, president of the Association of Municipalities of the Western Costa del Sol; Mrs. Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella; Mr. José Carrasco, mayor of Casares; Mr. Gonzaga Escauriaza, president of the RFEG (Spanish Golf Federation); Mr. Pablo Mansilla, president of the RFAG (Spanish Golf Federation); Mrs. Marta Figueras-Dotti, president of the Ladies European Tour; Mr. John Solheim, president of Karstein Manufacturing Corporation; Mr. Javier López, president of Finca Cortesín; and Dª. Alicia Garrido, president of the company Sport and Business. More about the 2023 Solheim Cup
The Torre Leonera Park in the Malaga town of Benahavís was the open air Covid safe setting for the presentation of the Club Ambassador Program, an initiative associated with the Solheim Cup 18th to 24th September 2023 on the 19th March 2021. It brought together 40 ambassadors of the Solhein Cup which will be played on Spanish soil for the first time in the history of the tournament. The dates are September 18 to 24, 2023 at Finca Cortesín. This Club Ambassador Program programme aims to promote the Solheim Cup among golfers from all over the world and will allow participating club members to enjoy a number of promotions. The role of Solheim Cup 2023 Ambassadors has been created to highlight those club gifted players to transmit the qualities which are essential to spread the importance and pride of hosting the Solheim Cup in 2023. More about the 2023 Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup, the most important on the international women's calendar, takes place every two years and in 2023 it will be held from 18 to 24 September on the courses at Finca Cortesín in Casares. The Solheim cup is the womens equivalent of the mens Ryder Cup where USA and EU teams compete. The inaugural Cup was held in 1990, and the event was staged in even numbered years until 2002, alternating years with the Ryder Cup. After the one-year postponement of the 2001 Ryder Cup following the September 11, the Solheim Cup switched to odd numbered years beginning in 2003. Another reshuffle took place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Solheim Cup will return to even numbered years from 2024. The 2021 edition will take place at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, USA. More about the 2023 Solheim Cup