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The Real Club Valderrama will host a new edition of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters

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The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters and the Portugal Masters have been rescheduled for September, forming the next part of the reshaped 2020 Race to Dubai.

Originally scheduled to tee off on April 30, the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters will take place at the iconic Real Club Valderrama from September 3-6 and will be immediately followed by the Portugal Masters. The event at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, from September 10-13, was initially scheduled for October prior to the suspension of the season due to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The European Tour returns this week with two dual-ranking events in Austria – the Austrian Open and Euram Bank Open. The six event UK Swing is next before the action moves to Spain and Portugal, continuing the strategy of playing in regional clusters.

Both tournaments will be governed by the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy, which has been developed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Murray in consultation with health care specialists Cignpost and advisors in many of the 30 countries in which the European Tour plays.

They will also be underpinned by the European Tour’s new ‘Golf for Good’ initiative which aims to support communities where the European Tour plays, reward true heroes, such as frontline workers, and promote the many health benefits that golf offers.

Peter Adams, Championship Director of both the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters and Portugal Masters, said: “We can’t wait to return to Valderrama and Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course for the rescheduled events.

“My sincere thanks go to Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters title sponsors Estrella Damm, as we enter the second year of our partnership, our hosts at Real Club Valderrama and the Regional Government of Andalucía for their commitment and support during what has been a challenging time for all parties.

“We are delighted that we will be able to showcase one of Europe’s elite golf courses to fans tuning in around the world to our live coverage.

“My thanks also go to Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection and Turismo de Portugal for their support in allowing us to reschedule the Portugal Masters for September.

“Following on from the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters ensures ease of travel for competitors wishing to remain on the Iberian Peninsula. The team at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course have been excellent hosts over the past 13 years and we are looking forward to working with them for the next edition of this tournament.

“My thanks also go to the Real Spanish Golf Federation, Portuguese Golf Federation and the local health authorities in both countries for their support. The safety of our members, staff and all those involved remains our priority and both events will be underpinned by the Tour’s comprehensive health strategy.

“Our Golf for Good initiative will also give us the opportunity to give something back to local causes around the venues and to those who have been impacted during this pandemic.”

The reshaped 2020 season also includes four Rolex Series events; the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship in October, followed by the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player on December 3-6 and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, on December 10-13, where the 2020 Race to Dubai Champion will be crowned.

Details of subsequent tournaments on the European Tour following the Portugal Masters in September through to November will be announced in due course, with a variety of scheduling options currently under consideration as the global situation continues to evolve.

Sergio García, three times winner and host of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters

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The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, which had been scheduled to tale place from April 30-May 3 at Real Golf Club Valderrama in Spain, has been postponed due to the ongoing threat posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The decision was made in consultation with tournament stakeholders, the Junta de Andalucía, Real Club Valderrama, the Sergio Garcia Foundation and title sponsor Estrella Damm, in light of travel restrictions in Spain.

Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at a later date.

Javier Reviriego, the CEO/General Manager of Real Club Valderrama, said: “We are deeply concerned by the current developments related to Coronavirus and we believe postponing the event is the best decision. We will work jointly with the European Tour and our sponsors to find a new date in the calendar to host this fantastic golf tournament. All of us at Valderrama look forward to hosting players and fans when we put this exceptional situation behind us.”

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “We are all taking a day-by-day approach at the moment and we continue to assess the impact of Coronavirus on all our events, but following discussions with all parties involved, it was clear that postponing the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at this point is the correct course of action. Public health and well-being remains the absolute priority for all of us.”

Lee Westwood, one of the stars in the 2020 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters (credit © Getty Images)

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Ryder Cup heroes Thomas Bjørn and Lee Westwood will return to the venue where they made their debuts in the biennial contest between Europe and the United States, confirming they will tee it up in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation from April 30 – May 3.

The pair made their Ryder Cup bows at Real Club Valderrama in 1997, when Europe, captained by the late, great Seve Ballesteros, retained the coveted trophy with a 14½ - 13½ victory.

They contributed 3.5 points to the European cause, as Westwood earned two points alongside Nick Faldo in foursomes and four-ball matches, and Bjørn earned a half in the Sunday singles against Justin Leonard, adding to the point he won with Ian Woosnam against Leonard and Brad Faxon.

Westwood is bidding for a European record-equalling 11th Ryder Cup appearance at Whistling Straits later this year. The 46-year-old is just outside the qualification spots for Padraig Harrington’s side, but is currently second on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after his victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in January.

“There isn’t much you can say about Valderrama that hasn’t already been said,” said Westwood. “It’s a fantastic golf course, and 1997 was very special because I made my Ryder Cup debut there and then won the Volvo Masters a few weeks later.

“It is an incredible test of golf, and it’s testament to Robert Trent Jones’ design that it has remained unchanged over the last 30 years. It’s a course that we all enjoy playing, and credit goes to Sergio Garcia and his foundation for helping to develop this tournament over the last four years.”

Thomas Bjørn, winning captain in the 2018 Ryder Cup (credit © Getty Images)
Thomas Bjørn, winning captain in the 2018 Ryder Cup (credit © Getty Images)

His close friend Bjørn is also looking forward to returning to the venue where his Ryder Cup journey began, culminating in his victorious captaincy two years ago at Le Golf National, Paris.

“Valderrama is an excellent golf course, and a test which we all enjoy returning to,” said the 15-time European Tour winner, who celebrated his 49th birthday earlier this month. “To make my Ryder Cup debut in a side captained by Seve, in his home country, and at a world-class venue, was incredibly special.”

The pair will join a host of other European Tour stars at Real Club Valderrama as the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters returns to the famed venue in April.

Tickets are available now, starting from €7 juniors and €15 for adults. Season tickets are available for the full week (€30 for juniors and €75 for adults), as well as weekend-only tickets (€15 and €40). Click here to purchase tickets.       

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, an event in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club Valderrama, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia y Administración Local of the Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by EU, declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Spanish Government, and backed by the Real Federación Española de Golf. This tournament is also supported by Dubai Duty Free, Exterior Plus, La Reserva Club de Sotogrande, Rolex, Santander Private Banking and Shell. Callaway, Enterprise, Grupo Raga, Kyocera, Maui Jim, Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud and the Real Federación Andaluza de Golf are official suppliers.

                                                                 

Christiaan Bezuindehout and Sergio García with the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters trophy (foto © Real Club Valderrama)

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Tickets are now on sale for the 2020 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Valderrama Masters, taking place at Real Club Valderrama from 29 April – 03 May, 2020. The new event dates will surely attract a superb field eager to face the Sotogrande course in ideal weather conditions. The best international and national golfers will show their talent before all those who want to experience first-hand this thrilling European Tour taking advantage of the 1st May holiday weekend.

With a special price available for a limited time, fans can enjoy world-class golf at one of Europe’s most iconic venues from just €7. Pro-Am tickets are available at €7 for juniors and €9 for adults, while tickets for the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday are available at €10 per person.

Saturday and Sunday tickets are available at €10 for juniors and €15 for adults, with a weekend ticket available at a special price of just €20. Season tickets, which include all four days of action and Wednesday’s Pro-Am day, are available at €30 for juniors and €55 for adults.
 
These special prices are only available until midnight on Monday 6 January, 2020. After that, early bird tickets will be also available (until February 11). You can check the full pricelist and ticket sale periods at the following link.

https://www.andaluciavalderramamasters.com/en/public-tickets

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, an event in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club Valderrama, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia y Administración Local of the Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by EU and declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Spanish Government.

Sergio García teeing off in the first practice round of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters (© Real Club Valderrama)

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It’s safe to say that the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters is one of the best tournaments on the European Tour calendar, and it’s not the only tournament at the highest level in Spain in 2019, nor is it the only one where it’s possible to catch the main stars in the world of golf in action, such as Jon Rahm, Sergio García and Matthew Fitzpatrick. But the big event at Real Club Valderrama, held from June 27th to June 30th, is all that and so much more. One of the main incentives of the tournament is that it pertains to the “Qualifying Series” of the Open Championship, meaning that it will be granting three golden tickets to play in the fourth and last major of the season, which will be held on the Royal Portrush course in Northern Ireland from July 18th to July 21st, one of the last opportunities for golfers in the European Tour to earn a spot in the Open Championship, making it all the more attractive. 

More than just an additional incentive for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, it’s also worth noting that the Real Club Valderrama will once again become a pioneer, making national golf history by being the first course in Spain to host a qualifier for the Open. This is the sixth season since the Royal & Ancient introduced this new form of accessing the Open and, to date, their tournaments have not yet touched upon Spanish terrain. 

Thus, Valderrama will always be linked to the history of the Open, the oldest tournament in the world, as well as being the only course in Spain and continental Europe, dating back to 1997, to host a Ryder Cup. Always cutting edge. Always hand in hand with the biggest events in golf. 

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters will grant three invitations to the Open to the highest-ranked golfers who finish in the top ten, and who don’t already have a spot secured. And thus, it’s a very enticing prize, a sweet pot that the golfers are prepared to fight for. In light of these special events, the European Tour live broadcast online of the rankings will be done a bit differently. Viewers will see the results superimposed on a claret jug, the trophy that will go to the champion of the Open Championship, with the names of those who have already qualified. It’s the easiest way to be able to follow who will be there on Sunday fighting for the three golden tickets. 

The Real Club Valderrama will attempt to give Spanish golf a stroke of luck with this “qualifying series”. Much needed at that, seeing as how, since it’s been implemented, the numbers have been unsatisfactory, to say the least. Of the near 150 different golfers that have managed to earn one of these ‘golden tickets’ for the Open by way of this system in the past six years, only one was Spanish, golfer from the Canary Islands, Rafa Cabrera Bello, in the Open de France in 2015, a rather minuscule amount.

In the latest edition, there are many candidates who are vying for their shot at one of those all-powerful golden tickets, so to speak. Of the 22 Spanish golfers on the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters roster, there are only four who have already qualified for the Open: Rahm, Sergio García, Jorge Campillo and Adrian Otaegui, which means there are fourteen potential candidates to win a dream trip to Portrush. There are currently five Spanish golfers who have secured their spot in the upcoming Open. The four previously mentioned and Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who earned his spot as last year’s champion of the Open Championship Senior on the Old Course at St. Andrews. The record of Spanish participants in an Open Championship goes back to 1983 and 1991, when there were ten representatives. The Open in 1991 is, coincidentally, still the major with the most Spanish golfers in history, a total of seven, to make the cut. 

Valderrama could be the one to make history now as the first champion of the Open Championship qualified by way of the “Qualifying Series”, why not? For now, the best score in these past five years from a golfer who has gone through these tournaments is fourth place, claimed by American golfer, Steve Stricker, in 2016. Additionally, there have been three more top tens: Edoardo Molinari (7th in 2014), Tyrrell Hatton (5th in 2016) and Eddie Pepperell (6th in 2018).

It’s important to note that after Valderrama, there will still be four more qualifying tournaments for the Open, which are the Rocket Mortgage Classic, held the same week as the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and the John Deere Classic. In other words, after Valderrama, there will only be nine more spots up for grabs through this ever so enticing “Qualifying Series”.

Tickets for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters 2019 hosted by the Sergio García Foundation are on sale now at the event website, starting from just €7 for juniors and €18 for adults (free entry for children aged under 12 when accompanied by an adult). For more information, see the event websiteFacebookInstagram and Twitter.

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, an event in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club Valderrama, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia y Administración Local of the Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by EU and declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Spanish Government. This tournament is also supported by Diputación de Cádiz, Dubai Duty Free, Rolex, Exterior Plus, La Reserva Club de Sotogrande, Santander Private Banking and Shell. Callaway, Coca-Cola, Enterprise, Grupo Raga, ISDIN, Korporate Technologies Group, Marca, Maui Jim, the Hospital QuirónSalud Campo de Gibraltar, the Real Federación Andaluza de Golf and Volvo are official suppliers. 5J, Gadira, Grupo Joly and Varma collaborate in the event as well.

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