The arrival to a historic venue, a magnificent field headed by international stars, a privileged location on the schedule, the highest prize purse of all the DP World Tour tournaments held in Spain and the unanimous backing of the parties who have contributed to the success of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters: all these assets make this tournament a new and exciting project, despite being already in its ninth edition. Thanks to this, spectators will be able to enjoy the new face of the event, and the talent of its players, from October 19-22 at the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.
During the presentation of this competition whose main sponsors are Estrella Damm and Andalucía, the representatives of the entities and institutions gathered at the San Roque club staged their total communion with the concept of golf as an ideal vehicle for sports, tourism and promotion at local, regional, national and even international level.
"This event is a clear example of the Andalusian Government's commitment to make Andalusia a preferred destination for all golf enthusiasts. Here we perfectly combine the practice of sport with the economic and tourist impact of holding a competition of this level," said the Government Subdelegate Francisco Javier Rodríguez.
"Everyone wants to come to Andalusia to organize their competitions, and that is synonymous with the fact that we have the best facilities, in this case 110 magnificent golf courses, such as the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. Here we also have the best professionals, and we know how to do things well. Our continuous efforts generate a confidence that permeates everywhere and is a guarantee of success," added the Government Subdelegate.
With sixty-five DP World Tour tournaments already held in Andalusia, to which should be added events such as the recent Solheim Cup, the Ryder Cup or the countless events of the other professional tours, such as the Ladies European Tour, the Challenge Tour or the Alps Tour, and many other high-level amateur events that have been held in this community, the unbreakable ties established between the Andalusian community and this sport are clear, as highlighted by the representative of the Junta.
For his part, Kostka Horno, Manager of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, emphasized the pedigree of the club when hosting major events, especially in the amateur field, and the importance of hosting again a professional test in the jewel designed by Robert Trent Jones, the first work in Europe of this reputed architect.
"We have been organizing the prestigious European Nations Championship - Sotogrande Cup for more than 50 years. It is important to remember that nine of the twelve players who have won the Ryder Cup last week have participated as amateurs in the Sotogrande Cup, which demonstrates the importance of this event at European level," explained Kostka Horno.
"That said, we are delighted to host again a professional golf tournament for several reasons: first of all, to bring here and enjoy the best players in the world, as we did in with the victory of Roberto de Vicenzo in the 1966 Open de España and Severiano Ballesteros in the 1987 Championship of Spain Professionals; secondly, to show the world this jewel hosting a prestigious event, which will help us bringing the club back into the international scene and positioning it among the best courses in the world; and finally, to contribute our bit to the productive fabric of San Roque hosting a high-level golfing event. There is no better marketing and advertising tool than an event like this," concluded the manager of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande."
In his speech, Chris Atkinson, Championship Director and DP World Tour representative at the event, highlighted the tournament's strong roster (with the arrival of American stars Wyndham Clark and Matt Kuchar) and indicated that he was confident of having an even better field next year.
“Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is an historic club, inextricably linked to the development of golf, and will undoubtedly provide a great test to our players. The improvements made to the venue in recent years have ensured Sotogrande has retained its status as a top-class championship venue both on and off the course,” said Chris Atkinson, who also mentioned the main partners of the event.
“This is the fifth year of Estrella Damm’s sponsorship of the Andalucia Masters and the event gets bigger and bigger year on year. Their dedication to this event, golf in Spain and the DP World Tour is second-to-none and we thank them enormously, as we are also grateful to the Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía for their unwavering support. The area of Andalucia is truly stunning and somewhere our players and staff love to visit. The welcome and hospitality offered to us every time we visit is greatly appreciated.”
Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, Mayor of San Roque, wanted to emphasize the importance of golf in a municipality whose character is forged by this sport, as evidenced by the quality of its facilities and the importance of the events it hosts.
"Our town can boast of being an international destination golf for lovers. We have a total of nine golf clubs, many of them among the best in the world as the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, which for the first time will host the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters," explained the Mayor of San Roque.
"All this is thanks to the excellence of our golf courses and our proven solvency when organizing with guarantees all kinds of major events, a direct consequence of the tight collaboration between all public and private entities. I want to thank especially the Councillor of Tourism and Sports for the commitment of the Junta de Andalucía to sponsor these competitions in San Roque," added Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix.
Juan José Ortiz, First Vice President of the Diputación de Cádiz, also wanted to emphasize the importance of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters in taking the name of their province to every corner of the planet.
“On behalf of the Provincial Council, we hope that all the players and fans will not only enjoy the tournament week but will become ambassadors for the Province of Cádiz. Golf is one of our main assets, and we must keep supporting and promoting it."
As a representative of the federative and educational sphere, Pablo Mansilla, President of the Royal Andalusian Golf Federation, pointed out the impact that events of this kind have on amateur players, whether they are elite amateurs or more modest golfers. As ideal tools for popularizing golf and complementing the federation's promotional work, tournaments such as the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters contribute to bringing golf to a much wider public.
“In Andalusia we want to be the centre of world golf and this tournament is one more step in that direction. It is important to emphasize not only the economic impact of this kind of events, but also their potential to generate more interest in the sport and create more fans.”
“As in previous years, the Andalusian junior golf champions will have the exciting opportunity to play the ProAm with the great stars taking part in the event. This is a huge motivation for them to keep training as they aim to follow the steps of their heroes,” said Pablo Mansilla.
Located in the decisive stage of the golf season, the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters will be crucial in the outcome of the Race to Dubai, the DP World Tour order of merit, and will showcase a strong field headed by the Americans Wyndham Clark, winner of the U.S. Open 2023 and Ryder Cup player and Matt Kuchar, with four Ryder Cups to his credit; New Zealander Ryan Fox, winner of the recent BMW PGA Championship among other titles; the Italian Francesco Molinari, Open Championship winner; the Spaniards Adrian Otaegui, defending champion, Pablo Larrazabal, Jorge Campillo or Rafa Cabrera Bello, all with notable international wins in their track records, or the Pole Adrian Meronk, already with multiple victories in the DP World Tour.
Tickets for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters are already available, with special prices for federated golfers and free for children under 13, and can be purchased on the event website.
The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, an event in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by the EU and was declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Government of Spain.
Photo: From left to right, Pablo Mansilla, President of the RFAG; Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, Mayor of San Roque; Francisco Javier Rodríguez, Government Subdelegate of Campo de Gibraltar; Kostka Horno, Manager of Real Club de Golf Sotogrande; Juan José Ortiz, First Vice President of Diputación de Cádiz; y Chris Atkinson, Championship Director. (credit © Bosco Martín)