Twelve years after playing the Sotogrande Cup in a superb Spanish team that faced the best European amateur golfers (many of whom already with notable professional careers), Adrian Otaegui returns to Real Club de Golf Sotogrande as the defending champion of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters. The player from San Sebastian, in a more than remarkable season, arrives at the Cadiz course heading the Spanish squad and eager to fight again for a very special title from October 19-22.
“Every victory has its history and its moment, but it is true that last year's win at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters had a special flavor: my first victory in Spain, in front of the Spanish public, in one of the places I love the most. It was the first title with my parents on the course, sharing the whole week with me, with many people from San Sebastian. It was a very nice victory in a week in which everything went well. Unforgettable,” recalled Otaegui.
Although it’s been a while since the last time he played the Real Club de Golf, Otaegui has great memories of the course where he won the team bronze medal in the Sotogrande Cup in 2011. The Sotogrande area is very special for the Basque, and a new triumph would endorse the great relationship he has with this corner of the Andalusian geography.
“I remember perfectly the Sotogrande Cup we played in 2011. The event carries such fame and prestige that all the players in Europe wanted to play it. It is a course that I love, it is always very well maintained, demanding, with fast greens and when the wind blows it can be very hard. I'm sure there will be good rounds if you have your game ready, but you can suffer as well. It's a course that suits me, although there are holes I don't know after the renewal. I can't wait to play the practice round. I have great memories of the Sotogrande area, of going as a teenager with 14 or 15 years when I could, in winter, to train with wind and with a different grass to the one we have in the north. It is an area I am very fond of,” exlpained the Basque player.
History permeates Adrián Otaegui's career and not only because of his time at the Sotogrande Cup: winner of the British Boys like another star from San Sebastian, José María Olazábal, he also made his debut in a DP World Tour tournament, the Iberdrola Open in 2011, on a very special date.
“It was just the week after Severiano Ballesteros passed away and it was different and emotional. That same year, after playing the European Championship with the RFEG team, I turned pro, quite young. The idea was to gain experience to learn the trade. I think it was the right decision because I knew for sure that I wanted to devote my life to golf and I feel privileged to be able to dedicate myself to what I like, to my passion, to what I have always wanted,” said Otaegui.
Throughout his twelve-year professional career, Adrián Otaegui has been able to mature and make the most of all his efforts, overcoming the initial difficulties and taking advantage of the road to learn how to win and, above all, how to live. With four DP World Tour titles already under his belt, the future is still brimming with possibilities.
“The elite professional world is different from what you imagine as a kid. I've been lucky enough to play a lot of tournaments all over the world, in different courses, with different cultures, on different continents and tour. I have played all the majors except the Masters, and the experience has been magnificent. I love the competition and the challenges you face every day on a golf course. It is a matter of overcoming, of solving problems that come to you little by little, as in life,” said the Spanish golfer.
Before him, a notable challenge: to revalidate the first title he won on Spanish soil, and for this he will lead a notable group of Spanish players such as Pablo Larrazábal, winner of the Korea Championship and the KLM Open this year, Jorge Campillo, champion of the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, Nacho Elvira, Adri Arnaus or Rafa Cabrera Bello.
All of them make up a qualified local cast at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters that will face international stars such as the Americans Wyndham Clark and Matt Kuchar, the New Zealander Ryan Fox, the Italian Francesco Molinari, the Scot Robert McIntyre, the Pole Adrian Meronk or the Frenchman Victor Perez.
Enjoying live all these players at the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is quite easy, since you only need yo purchase tickets for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, with special prices for federated golfers and free for children under 13, 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.