The Andalucía Valderrama Masters-Fundación Sergio García has reinforced its fourth edition with new sponsors, greater institutional support and improvements to the golf course aimed at consolidating the tournament as one of the golfing highlights of the year.
From October 18 to 21, Royal Valderrama Club will once again be shining in the international global spotlight, with a course presented in impeccable condition after completion of an ambitious improvements plan.
Adding their institutional support to the regional ministry of tourism and sports’ main sponsorship of the event are the Cádiz provincial government, San Roque town hall and Royal Andalucian Golf Federation. In addition, Santander Private Banking, La Reserva de Sotogrande, Rolex, Heineken, Dubai Duty Free, Shell, Exterior Plus, Samsic Iberia, Only Water, Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud, Coca-Cola, Varma and Korporate Technologies Group complete the roster of sponsoring companies.
En la presentación en el Real Club Valderrama se ha puesto de manifiesto importancia de un evento que se ha convertido en el mejor escaparate para el t
During the official presentation at Royal Valderrama Club in mid-September, it was made clear why the event has become so important, as the premier showcase of Andalucian tourism and with significant economic repercussions for the Campo de Gibraltar area.
Nuno de Brito e Cunha, president of Royal Valderrama Club, welcomed everyone "to a club which we are proud to belong to, a Spanish and Andalucian club". He emphasised the fact that last year’s Andalucía Valderrama Masters was a major success, culminating in victory by Sergio Garcia, and noted, "We have worked hard to grow and have incorporated several sponsors who ensure we have a very promising future.
"We would love it if the tournament started today, but we guarantee that the course will be in optimal condition, even better than last year, thanks to remodelling work on the second nine holes. Unquestionably, it will be a worthy scenario for the 2018 Andalucía Valderrama Masters 2018 ".
Antonio Fernández, secretary-general for sport with the Junta de Andalucía (regional government), said these major international events "are an ideal showcase of our region’s attractions, and also serve to highlight Andalucía’s status as a synonym of quality and excellence.
“The fact that the Andalucía Valderrama Masters has been formally recognised as an “Event of Special Public Interest” is no coincidence, consolidating it as one of the best at an international level. It has all the ingredients in that respect: one of the world’s finest courses (and Valderrama’s efforts to achieve and maintain that have been remarkable), top Tour stars taking part, for the enjoyment of more than 40,000 people expected to attend the tournament, and the climate.
"Sport and tourism, tourism and sport... they are a perfect pairing that contribute to the region’s development and generate wealth. How much would it be worth to reach into 400 million homes; in other words, the scope of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters? A priceless figure, and that is why the Junta remains fully committed to this tournament."
Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, mayor of San Roque, said the Andalucía Valderrama Masters "once again transforms us into the world's golf capital and is the best showcase to promote the Campo de Gibraltar area. It is also a key engine of tourist and economic development.
"Valderrama is synonymous with quality and, with the improvements that have been completed on the course, this will be even more the case this year. We are very grateful to all the sponsors and institutions, such as the Cádiz provincial government who join us this year, for helping to grow a tournament that will be further consolidated with this fourth edition.
"You only have to look at the figures from last year to value the importance of the tournament: 40,000 spectators, more than 200 accredited journalists and 400 million viewers on television.
"The Andalucía Valderrama Masters is an exceptional event that reaffirms San Roque as an exceptional destination, and we will continue to be fully committed to it.”
Taking his turn during the official presentation, Royal Andalucian Golf Federation president Pablo Mansilla said, "Once again, and now there are four, Andalucía and Royal Valderrama Club will offer the best possible venue for a major golf event considered, from this year, to be of exceptional public interest.
"The tournament is enormously important for our destination, providing a major tourism impact, and for that reason I would like to highlight what it means for the golf sector to garner support from our public institutions – especially the ministry of tourism and sport- for major tournaments. This commitment to hosting the tournament is the best promotional campaign we can have for our destination, allowing us to spread the word about Andalucía from end of the world to another, and showcase the quality and diversity of our golf courses and the magnificent options for visiting golfers.
"Last year, more than 400 million homes on five continents were able to enjoy the tournament, and the spectators who came to the course pulsated with the excitement of Sergio Garcia’s victory, who this year will defend his title. I thank the institutions and sponsors who have made this great golfing party in Andalucía possible for our region, and I encourage all fans to attend the event so that, once again, this edition will be a success."
Simon Alliss, director of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, added, "It is always a privilege and a pleasure to come to Valderrama. Thank you for taking such good care of us. The European Tour enjoys a special relationship with our sponsors and partners, given that they make such an exceptional contribution to the sport. We feel very fortunate to maintain such a close relationship with the Junta de Andalucía, whose support is inestimable. I would also like to thank the Cádiz provincial government, the Royal Andalucian Golf Federation and San Roque town hall for their constant support."
"It's an honour for me be involved in this tournament. We have always enjoyed Spanish golf, and we want to show the world that it is booming again. We are very lucky to have a great family of partners: La Reserva de Sotogrande, Heineken, Dubai Duty Free, Santander Private Bank, Rolex, Shell, Exterior Plus, Samsic Iberia, Only Water, Quirónsalud Hospital Group, Coca-Cola, Varma and Korporate Technologies Group.
"In our battle against plastic on golf courses, we have the support of Only Water, a Málaga company that sells water with novel packaging. In our world we cannot ignore environmental problems and we are delighted that the Andalucía Valderrama Masters will probably become the first European Tour tournament that focuses on sustainability. It is our first step in favour of recycling and we hope to improve even more in the future.
"We are also determined to show how beneficial golf is for health, since there is nothing better than walking around a golf course. In collaboration with Quirónsalud, we are pleased to present a new initiative: a day of ‘Walk and Win’ during which we encourage the public to enjoy golf and discover how healthy it is to walk outdoors... with the possibility of winning interesting prizes."
In conclusion, Royal Valderrama club general manager Javier Reviriego noted, “Last March we completed an ambitious improvements plan with the aim of presenting the course at the same level as the best tournaments in the world.
"We have renewed all the greens on the course. It has essentially been an agronomic change and we have only increased the size of the green on the par-five 11th hole, to return it to its original design following Kyle Phillips’ guidelines. We have also made major improvements to the areas surrounding the greens, substituting the previous grass, which had become contaminated with different species. With this improvement we will achieve greater uniformity and consistency, and it will be a fairer course."
Regarding the cutting height of the grass around the green, he said, "It will depend on the weather conditions. It is something that we are already evaluating with the European Tour, but with these changes we have more leeway on the greens.
"Finally, on the 17th hole the buggy path that was close to the lake has been relocated, and this will allow more players to attempt to attack the green."
Andalucía Valderrama Masters-Fundación Sergio García tickets available HERE. Entry is free for under-14s accompanied by an adult.
Fotos: Agencia Freelance