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Golf Podium

10 May

Volvo World Match Play Championship 2012

Graeme McDowell squeezed past Spanish home favourite Rafael Cabrera-Bello with a last-hole victory in the semi-finals.

Nicolas Colsaerts, the “Belgian bomber” (biggest hitter on the European Tour), followed up a maiden European Tour title at the 2011 Volvo China Open, and a 19th hole loss in the semi-finals of the 2011 Volvo World Match Play, against eventual champion Ian Poulter, with a final hole victory against the ever-dogged Graeme McDowell in the 2012 edition.

Columbian Camilo Villegas lost 3&2 in his match against American Brandt Snedeker in their duel for a place in the final eight.

Thunderous rain forced a temporary suspension of play in the Sunday morning semi-finals but the weather remained more benign – albeit windy – for most of the afternoon.

Finca Cortesín (2009, 2011 and 2012) is the only course apart from Wentworth to host the World Match Play Championship, which dates to 1964.

Passing the Ballesteros Baton

28 Apr

Competing at the same venue where his father Seve made his professional debut, 21-year-old Javier Ballesteros finished a creditable 14th in his first appearance in a pro event. […]

How to Apologise

15 Apr

The humble and dignified Australia way…

After making derogatory remarks about Canberra on a US talk show, actor Guy Pearce responded to the outrage (at least by Canberrans) by penning a letter to the Canberra Times: “I stupidly ran with a joke which I took too far for no other reason than to get laughs and I know I’ve offended many Canberrans and Australians in general. I feel horrible about myself for doing this and I’m truly very sorry. In the few times I’ve been I’ve really enjoyed it and found it to be extremely beautiful, so I’m so sorry for being such a dickhead.” Imploring Canberrans to accept his apology, he added, “I give you permission to abuse me in the street and tell me my films are crap.” […]

Golf Podium

18 Mar

Open de Andalucía 2012

Ranked 610th in the world coming into the event, and one of eight players gaining a place off the Spanish order of merit, Eduardo de la Riva led after the second and third rounds but eventually finished third behind Julien Quesne and Matteo Manassero, matching his best European Tour result in the 2011 Madrid Masters. The Spaniard has been to the Tour Qualifying School nine times but only passed the test once, a decade ago. (Photo: M. Álvarez)

Former manager of the England national football team Fabio Capello caught the action at Aloha. (Photo: M. Álvarez)

Javier Ballesteros, oldest son of Seve, was in the gallery following the first-day trio of Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Mateo Manassero and Robert Rock, accompanied by two other promising young Spanish amateurs who were also on the Costa del Sol competing in the Andalucía Cup at La Cañada. (Photo: M. Álvarez)

Tournament host Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who was seventh congratulates Eduardo de la Riva as the leading Spaniard and tournament winner Julien Quesne, who at 31 secured his first European Tour title with an outstanding closing eight-under 64 (matching the Aloha course record). (Photo: M. Álvarez)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha Tiger!

15 Mar

Miguel Ángel Jiménez is not one to give up easily. As in previous years, when he caught up with Tiger Woods during the latest World Golf Championship event in the US, the Málaga-born star invited Woods to the Open de Andalucía event his promotional company Grupo MAJ has organised – and partly funded – the past six years. […]

Golf Tour 2012

1 Jan

Tournament Schedule in Spain

European Tour

Open de Andalucía: Aloha (Marbella) – 15-18 March

Open de España: Real Club de Golf de Sevilla – 3-6 May

Volvo World Match Play Championship: Finca Cortesín (Casares) – 17-20 May

Ladies European Tour

Tenerife Open de España Femenino: Las Américas (Tenerife) – 20-23 September

European Senior Tour

Mallorca Senior Open: Pula Golf – 11-13 May

Benahavís Senior Masters: La Quinta – 1-3 June

Pictured: Greek-born Luxembourg player Liebelei Lawrence competing in the Spanish Women’s Open at La Quinta (Benahavís) last year.
 
 

SPAIN’S elusive HOLY GRAIL

27 Oct

Unfinished business at Valderrama

Spanish contingent in confident mood... (Photo: Fernando Herranz)

SEVE BALLESTROS went close in 1988. The late Spanish star finished second two shots behind Nick Faldo in the inaugural Volvo Masters at Valderrama.

Six years later, he was again second, a bogey on the last hole leaving him one short of Bernhard Langer’s winning score and level with Vijay Singh. Miguel Ángel Jiménez was fourth that same year, having opened with a six-under 65 that included the first albatross carded in competition on Valderrama’s notorious 17th hole. […]

OPEN to other pleasures

18 Jul

ALWAYS REASSURING to discover that not all modern-day professional golfers are metronomic gym freaks with personality bypasses…

 

 

NOW that’s a FIELD!

18 May

Putting the “World” back into “Match Play”

(Photo: Volvo in Golf)

By PEDRO BOLICHERO

IT HADN’T REQUIRED too healthy a dose of scepticism in recent years to look at the World Match Play Championship as something of a misnomer. In its 44-year history at the Wentworth it had produced a stellar roll-call of champions – but the fields gradually diminished to, in some cases, almost a second tier of the world’s best. […]

AMEN CORNER

7 May

Seve Ballesteros dies “peacefully” at home

(Photo: Volvo-Getty)

THE PLAYER who did more than any other to raise golf’s profile in Spain has died at his Pedreña home after a valiant battle against the debilitating effects of a brain tumour.

In a press statement released by his family, it was announced that he had passed away at 2.10 am (Spanish time) “peacefully surrounded by his family”. […]

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