Unfinished business at Valderrama
SEVE BALLESTROS went close in 1988. The late Spanish star finished second two shots behind Nick Faldo in the inaugural Volvo Masters at Valderrama.
Six years later, he was again second, a bogey on the last hole leaving him one short of Bernhard Langer’s winning score and level with Vijay Singh. Miguel Ángel Jiménez was fourth that same year, having opened with a six-under 65 that included the first albatross carded in competition on Valderrama’s notorious 17th hole. Continue reading
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
Spanish new golf sensation, Alvaro Quirós, made his 4th victory in the European Tour last Sunday at the Real Club de Golf in Seville after the first sudden-death hole against english player James Morrison.
Funny enough Quiros argued with Miguel Angel Jimenez about how this course (and most courses in Spain) are “not ideal” for him as the fairways tend to be narrower just at the 250 mts from tee area where Alvaro (normally the longest driver on the tour) tends to land.
After two reasonable rounds on Thursday and Friday, the young spaniard from Guadiaro (next to the Sotogrande area) had a great round on Saturday that made him start two under the leaders on Sunday. With the local crowds following him and even if he apparently didn’t expect to get there, he ended up on the play-off match which he won after the first hole to his 4th victory on the tour and brings him closer to what he claims is his main objective for this year… being part of the Ryder Cup team.