- “If there is one course I can play for the rest of my life it would be Valderrama.”
Germany’s Martin Kaymer, the last entry to the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation to be held at Real Club Valderrama from October 19-22 sponsored by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia, joins a list of Major winners featuring José María Olazábal, Sergio García, Padraig Harrington and Danny Willett.
The two-time Major winner returns for the second successive season to one of his favourite courses “one of the most iconic golf courses in Europe”. Last year he challenged for the title entering the final round one shot off the lead, but eventually finished for a share of sixth place as Englishman Andrew Johnston lifted the Open de España title.
He was also tied sixth at the 2007 Volvo Masters; he finished 21st at the 2010 Andalucía Valderrama Masters and 23rd the following year as he celebrated the victory of his good friend Sergio García, next week’s defending champion and tournament host.
Kaymer is a self-declared lover of Spain – including Iberian ham – and has often expressed his admiration for the prestigious southern Spanish layout: “If there is one course I can play for the rest of my life it would be Valderrama – it’s so pretty. But you should never underestimate this golf course. It is a tricky golf course that you need a lot of respect for. The greens are very small so it is all about ball striking – it is never going to be a putting competition. You have to be very strategic and I really enjoy that. I’ve done well here in the past too, so those are all good reasons to come back.”
Martin Kaymer (Dusseldorf 28/12/1984) turned professional at age 20 in 2005. His 23 professional wins include two Majors, the 2010 US PGA Championship and the 2014 US Open, as well as the 2014 The Players Championship, the flagship event of the PGA Tour. In 2010 he was crowned Europe’s number one and he led the Official World Ranking for eight weeks in 2011.
The four-time Ryder Cup player – winner in 2010, 2012 and 2014 – famously sank the all-important putt for Europe in Medinah. “Olazábal came up to me on 16 and said, ‘Martin, we need your point, but do not know how… win it!’ And I did. This is a feeling that’s not describable,” he recalls.
Besides Kaymer, a strong field of European Tour champions will challenge for the title, including Jamie Donaldson, Niclas Fasth, Anders Hansen, Peter Hanson, Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Raphaël Jacquelin, Andrew Johnston, Robert Karlsson, Søren Kjeldsen, Shane Lowrie, Matteo Manassero, Edoardo Molinari, James Morrison, Thorbjørn Olesen, Renato Paratore, Andrés Romero, Julian Suri, Romain Wattel, Danny Willett…
15 Spanish players will make up the home contingent for this third edition of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters: Pep Anglés, Jorge Campillo, Alejandro Cañizares, Nacho Elvira, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Sergio García, Pablo Larrazábal, José María Olazábal, Adrián Otaegui, Marcos Pastor, Carlos Pigem, Álvaro Quirós, Jon Rahm, Eduardo de la Riva, Samuel del Val.
Photos: ©RC Valderrama