Month: November 2010

Alvaro Quiros before playing at Valderrama

Extracted from ALvaro Quirós press conference just before the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, just a few minutes away from his home.
Tuesday October 26, 2010

“I am really looking forward to playing at home. It was great to play here in 2008, and this Valderrama Andalucía Masters will also be an important event.

For me, this will be an opportunity to recover my place in the world top 50, which I lost after Portugal, and also to get into the Race to Dubai.

The course is in great condition and the greens very fast… obviously this course is always perfect.

I spend here 3 of my 5 weekly practice days as I have a courtesy invitation. I do the rest of my practice at La Reserva and La Cañada.

I have been struggling with my game for the last 6 months, just trying to survive, but two weeks ago I started playing better, although my putting is a bit yippy.

I am comfortable at Valderrama and know the greens well. I should be able to finish in good position without putting too well. I am aware that the greens are difficult. I don’t think anybody can play 4 straight rounds without a problem on these greens. We often find ourselves putting defensively.

Everybody has good and bad moments on course, and it’s quite normal to get mad from time to time, but it’s important not to lose concentration.

Martin Kaymer is an incredible player. His mindset and his attitude on course are just perfect. His game is not spectacular, but his putting certainly is, at least for the last two years.

The world top 15 have very similar games. Martin and I are very different types of players: he is brainy, well aware of his limits, and he takes full advantage of his strong points. He is living a sweet moment, and that reflects on his demeanour, on the way he walks… I, on the contrary, have not found that sweet moment yet; I struggle, but I give it my best effort. He takes advantage of 90% of his potential, I don’t even reach 75%

I am now striking the ball better, but when I play well I don’t putt well, and when I putt well I don’t play well. I conclude that when a player manages to put these two most important parts of his game together he becomes world number one.

At present I am only trying to save shots. Olazábal explains it very well: on a rainy day you can only open your umbrella and wait for it to stop. That’s just what I am waiting for.

I don’t really know what I need to do to be up there… it’s frustrating not to be able to play to my full potential.

We live in the Tiger Woods era. He is just number one, the best player in the history of golf, no disrespect intended to his predecessors. I hope to see him back up there soon. He may have not won as many majors as others, but he has certainly done it in more difficult circumstances. He is the perfect modern golfer, a great sportsman and an athlete.

During the 1997 Ryder Cup I was only 14. I don’t remember any of the players, just Seve running around and trying to teach Lee Westwood to play out of a bunker. It impressed me how easy it seemed for Seve and how difficult for Lee, and I wondered which would I resemble.

In a way, I feel that I am a better player, but I am not enjoying my golf as I used to two years ago, not because I won but because my game felt good. It’s frustrating to know that you could go a step forward and not be able to do it.

I am ambitious, you must be ambitious to be up there, but now I don’t even enjoy my good moments… I always think that I have a lot to

improve.”

Tuesday October 26, 2010

I am really looking forward to playing at home. It was great to play here in 2008, and this Valderrama Andalucía Masters will also be an important event.

For me, this will be an opportunity to recover my place in the world top 50, which I lost after Portugal, and also to get into the Race to Dubai.

The course is in great condition and the greens very fast… obviously this course is always perfect.

I spend here 3 of my 5 weekly practice days as I have a courtesy invitation. I do the rest of my practice at La Reserva and La Cañada.

I have been struggling with my game for the last 6 months, just trying to survive, but two weeks ago I started playing better, although my putting is a bit yippy.

I am comfortable at Valderrama and know the greens well. I should be able to finish in good position without putting too well. I am aware that the greens are difficult. I don’t think anybody can play 4 straight rounds without a problem on these greens. We often find ourselves putting defensively.

Everybody has good and bad moments on course, and it’s quite normal to get mad from time to time, but it’s important not to lose concentration.

Martin Kaymer is an incredible player. His mindset and his attitude on course are just perfect. His game is not spectacular, but his putting certainly is, at least for the last two years.

The world top 15 have very similar games. Martin and I are very different types of players: he is brainy, well aware of his limits, and he takes full advantage of his strong points. He is living a sweet moment, and that reflects on his demeanour, on the way he walks… I, on the contrary, have not found that sweet moment yet; I struggle, but I give it my best effort. He takes advantage of 90% of his potential, I don’t even reach 75%

I am now striking the ball better, but when I play well I don’t putt well, and when I putt well I don’t play well. I conclude that when a player manages to put these two most important parts of his game together he becomes world number one.

At present I am only trying to save shots. Olazábal explains it very well: on a rainy day you can only open your umbrella and wait for it to stop. That’s just what I am waiting for.

I don’t really know what I need to do to be up there… it’s frustrating not to be able to play to my full potential.

We live in the Tiger Woods era. He is just number one, the best player in the history of golf, no disrespect intended to his predecessors. I hope to see him back up there soon. He may have not won as many majors as others, but he has certainly done it in more difficult circumstances. He is the perfect modern golfer, a great sportsman and an athlete.

During the 1997 Ryder Cup I was only 14. I don’t remember any of the players, just Seve running around and trying to teach Lee Westwood to play out of a bunker. It impressed me how easy it seemed for Seve and how difficult for Lee, and I wondered which would I resemble.

In a way, I feel that I am a better player, but I am not enjoying my golf as I used to two years ago, not because I won but because my game felt good. It’s frustrating to know that you could go a step forward and not be able to do it.

I am ambitious, you must be ambitious to be up there, but now I don’t even enjoy my good moments… I always think that I have a lot to improve.”

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McDowell last man standing at Valderrama

Ortiz-Patiño Alonso y Waters (foto Juan José Úbeda)
Ortiz-Patiño Alonso y Waters (foto Juan José Úbeda)

Aunque con muchas incógnitas por desvelar todavía, hoy se ha presentado al fin el Andalucía Valderrama Masters del que tanto se había rumoreado.

La fecha parece concretarse finalmente en la semana 44 (última de Octubre), tradicional del Volvo Masters y en la que este año se ha celebrado el Mundial Match Play.  Ni siquiera el nombre del torneo parece del todo cierto a estas alturas, pues aunque en la convocatoria original y en algunas vallas que la Junta ha colocado ya en diversos puntos de la Costa del Sol se incluyera la sede en el nombre del torneo, en la nota de prensa posterior éste ya no aparecía en su denominación.

Sea como fuere, se confirma finalmente que será un torneo del circuito europeo por lo que el primer y último torneo del mismo en tierras europeas se celebrarán en Andalucía (Open de Andalucía en el Parador en Marzo). Después vendrán los torneos en Asia y finalmente el torneo final de Dubaí (que por ahora contra pronostico, parece resistir al menos en 2010). El montante de premios se fija en 3 millones de euros, cantidad nada despreciable con los tiempo que corren, pero alejada de los mayores torneos de la temporada. No será pues un torneo de maestros como tal, aunque el nombre “masters” se mantenga, y seguramente serán de 80 a 100 jugadores con corte, aunque nada se ha precisado en este sentido. El acuerdo se indica que será “al menos” para cinco años.

Con todo así, y hasta que se desvele de una vez el calendario para 2010, todo indica que podríamos tener en España hasta 7 torneos del circuito europeo, dado que Mallorca recupera su prueba, uniéndose a Castellón, Madrid, (que parece moverse a Mayo) y los tres en Andalucía (que pueden ser 4 si el Open de España se viene a Sevilla). De la fecha del Volvo Mundial Match Play nada se sabe con certeza pero podría quedar fijado en la primera semana de Octubre.

En definitiva una gran noticia para España y para Andalucía en particular, de la que nos alegramos enormemente por todo lo que significa para el golf en nuestro país. Loable el esfuerzo de la Junta de Andalucía, aunque cuestionable la estrategia de mantener tres torneos en su territorio en lugar de un gran evento “de bandera” como siempre se había sugerido. En todo caso estamos seguros de que Valderrama estará como siempre a la altura y el evento ayudará vender la excelencia del golf en el sur de España.