Possessing an impressive sporting CV already, Mario – who learned the game at La Cañada Club – has once again captured the limelight, becoming the first Spaniard to end the season as number one in the European Amateur Ranking. This title was the culmination of a brilliant run of form in 2014, with two individual victories, a gold medal in the European Teams Championship, runner-up in the Spanish Championship, second in the Sotogrande Cup, a member of the winning European team in the Europe-Asia/Pacific Match, and a bronze medal in the World Teams Championship.
On the last day of November he won a fourth consecutive Puerta de Hierro National Cup title, at La Cañada, which counted towards the world ranking. Galiano thus matched a feat that had not been achieved by anyone else since the Marques of Cabriñana at the start of the 1950s.
- How do you feel as the first Spaniard to become the top amateur in Europe?
- Very happy, as I didn’t expect it. It’s a huge delight to win this medal, bearing in mind the level of golf played in Europe.
- After your successful career as an amateur, rounded off this year with some magnificent results and the climax of becoming European number one, how do you see your future in the sport?
- Even keener than before to continue improving and winning titles. And, if as a professional in a few years, even better.
- What are the fondest memories of your first years learning the game at the La Cañada Municipal Academy and your subsequent move to the Blume National Academy?
- Well, at La Cañada I remember all those classes with friends, matches, etc. The coaches were and are incredible, and thanks to them and the club I am what I am today. For Blume I can only have words of appreciation for all they have given me, which is a lot. They educated me as a golfer and as a person. I am grateful for everything they have given me.
- To reach the extremely high competitive level you have achieved, it is necessary to make a lot of sacrifices. What has been, or is, the most difficult to endure in this respect?
- Being away from family, without a doubt. It’s a very big change and you have to know how to handle it well.
- Have you considered any other option for making a living other than golf in the event of not triumphing as a professional? What would you like to be?
- Well, I haven’t considered any other option. It’s very clear what I want to do and I know that, if I give it my all, in the end I can dedicate my career to this, which is what I really want to do and what I am working towards.
- What has Guadiaro, close to your home town of El Secadero, got going for it to make such a small place the source of so many, and so many good, golfers?
- You breathe in a different air, a different atmosphere, in these surroundings: you only see golf courses and there are a lot of golfers – that’s the key.
- What do you think about your club, La Cañada, being chosen as the venue for the first Centre for Specialist Sports Technique for Golf in Andalucía?
- Well, it truly is a fantastic idea and where better to have it than at La Cañada. They’ll produce some good golfers, for sure. It’s the ideal place for the centre.
- What, in your opinion, are the key points to becoming a great golfer?
- To work hard and never give up. You have to fight for what you want, and that’s why I have no doubts about wanting to dedicate my career to golf.
- Do you believe that the reign of Tiger has now ended and that McIlroy has become his successor, or can Woods roar again?
- Tiger still hasn’t stopped being what he is. I think McIlroy will be his successor but will not achieve what he has. He’ll get close… For me Tiger is the best in the history of the game and I believe he’ll win another major.