McDowell not winded at the Valderrama Masters In Andalucia
4th November 2010
The final day at this year's Valderrama Masters in Andalucia saw a tough day had by all, struggling mainly due to the wind. The Valderrama Golf course is one of the great courses on the European Tour and is an essential part of the European Tour. Since its construction in 1974 the course in southern Spain has hosted European greats such as Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Berhard Langer and Padraig Harrigton who also won at the course this is when the competition was called the Volvo masters.
In 2010 this was changed to the Valderrama Masters and the trophy was taken by Graeme McDowell with a score of three under par in a low scoring competitive field.
In a year where the Northern Irishman won both the US open and was part of the winning team at the Ryder cup, he also added the competition in Andalucia to his list of titles for the year.
After his victory McDowell expressed that "[To] win at Valderrama is very special to me, I always want to win in the best courses in the world". This reflects not only his excitement in winning the event but also how a win at The Valderrama Masters goes hand in hand with a Major win.
With this win, the US Open champion climbs into the top 10 players in the world and pushes fellow European competitor, Kaymer out. After an all Irish battle at the top on the final day, once again the 17th hole became decisive, last years' winner Soren Kjeldson sneaked in to gain joint second alongside the 2 remaining Irishmen.
Unfortunately the Spanish competitors failed to reach contention for the title with Miguel Angel Jimenez the highest ranked in 7th place. But players had only good things to say about the competition and Jimenez summed up the day for the Spaniards by saying "It's a shame that we have not had a Spanish winner but we tried and that will continue."
JosÉ Mari OlazÁbal, revealed the Valle Romano inaugural plaque on behalf of Seve Ballesteros
24th June 2010
With a moved José Mari Olazábal, who represented Severiano Ballesteros, Valle Romano, which today inaugurated their installations with Pro-Am tournament, was officially opened. "I feel very moved on having revealed the inauguration plaque on behalf of Seve. We have a very close relationship. Moreover, his attitude and example on the course have always been admirable, and even more so now, seeing how he's dealing with his present situation".
First thing in the morning prior to the Pro-Am commencement Pro-Am, Olazábal, with Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, were responsible for teeing-off together in a relaxed atmosphere, joking over who would make the best shot.
For his part, Severiano Ballesteros, the image of the promotion, who was unable to travel to Estepona, sent a moving message for this very important day. 'Dear friends of the Valle Romano Golf Club, I'd have loved to have been able to be with you on such an important day, as this, the inauguration, on such an enormous course like Valle Romano. And if I'm not with you now, as I would have liked, it's for reasons which you all know. And, from here, I should like to wish you all the best and that you'll be very happy. And score many birdies!'.
The inauguration event and subsequent press conference were chaired by Xabier Iturbe, chairman of Caja de Ahorros de Guipúzcoa-San Sebastián (Kutxa); David Valadez, mayor of Estepona; Ángel de la Riva, chairman of the Andalusian Golf Federation; golf champions: José Mari Olazábal and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño; course designer Cabell B. Robinson; and Ildefonso Esquivel, Valle Romano course manager.
Xabier Iturbe, chairman of Caja de Ahorros de Guipúzcoa-San Sebastián (Kutxa), welcomed all the inauguration attendees: "Kutxa is a body, which is highly involved in golf, likewise other sports such as showjumping and Basque pelota. We have made a big investment in Valle Romano, swimming against the current in these present times. However, we shall be continuing with this policy, fulfilling our commitment to make this project work. Our aim is for Valle Romano to become a success store in the world of golf. I should also like to express my thanks to Seve, who although unable to accompany us here today, has supported us right from the beginning".
Ildefonso Esquivel, Valle Romano manager: "This complex satisfies the conditions to become a major European one. We're offering a course which is way above the average, and is already a reference in the world of golf. Moreover, we're trying to convert this crisis situation into a show of strength, taking advantage of all the opportunities and seeking new golf markets".
Cabell B. Robinson, golf course designer: "I'm very pleased with the end result of the course. Furthermore, the promoters have shown a lot of courage going ahead with this project in current times. The first time I saw this land, around 10 years ago, I was worried because given the rugged terrain of the estate. I have to say the current promoters collaborated greatly with me, facilitating a highly satisfactory end result of which I'm very proud".
Ángel de la Riva, chairman of the Royal Andalusian Golf Federation: "Big businesses come to light in difficult times and Valle Romano is going to be a great reality. Seve Ballesteros is the soul of this project and Cabell has created a great design with this golf course, which is the 105th in Andalusia. Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, for his part, has been spreading the name of Valle Romano everywhere, and he isn't even Andalusian, he has all our affection for the effort he's making".
David Valadez, mayor of Estepona: "For a town like Estepona, it's a satisfaction to receive investments of this nature, since it's a source of revitalisation for local economy. Valle Romano has demonstrated great tenacity and perseverance to culminate this project, which is a commitment to Estepona and the entire Costa del Sol".
Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño: "We're celebrating, Valle Romano has at last opened its doors after many years waiting for this moment. I like the course very much and it has all kinds of holes: complicated par 3s and very good recovery holes. It's changeable so it can be very different from one day to the next; yesterday the wind was from the west and Chema (Olazábal) and I played it one way, today we've got a bit of Levante wind so we've had to play it differently. You have to use the 14 clubs in your bag, because it's a demanding course although entertaining at the same time, making it enjoyable for both the professional and any amateur. What I like most is the design of the greens with the clearly differentiated platforms, hole 10 - a marvellous par 5 - and par 3s. If you play well you'll make many birdies".
José Mari Olazábal: "Having revealed the plaque today on behalf of Seve for the inauguration of Valle Romano, I was greatly moved. You all know what's going on. For me, Seve has always been an example in the field for his attitude and his way of fighting; and it's admirable to see how he's dealing with this situation. I feel moved whenever I talk to Seve.
I'd like to congratulate Kutxa for taking up this challenge, which I'm sure will go ahead and become a success; likewise Cabell B. Robinson, because he's made a great combination of holes: hard par 3s from tee-off at the back and short funny holes for the enjoyment of the amateur. Next week I'm down for playing the French Open, however, I still don't know for sure if I'll be able to compete; because although I'm not one hundred percent, I have very close relationship with Lacoste -they've supported me all these years - so I'm going to try. It'll be a one-off appearance. I've noticed a certain improvement in the last couple of months, and I hope to be able to play the odd tournament at the end of the season".
Valle Romano inauguration events will be continuing tomorrow with a tournament for journalists.
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