Gonzo Golf Prevails in Italy

17 Sep

The new champion and his wife Alicia Carriles (Photo: Getty Images)

Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño was one of four high-ranked Spaniards hoping to make his Ryder Cup debut this year. In the end he, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Álvaro Quíros and Pablo Larrazábal fell short in the qualification process – and failed to gain a wild-card selection from captain José María Olazábal to join the only Spaniard in the 2012 team, Sergio García (Miguel Ángel Jimñénez is also one of Chema’s vice-captains).

However, some consolation came for the amiable 2005 European Tour rookie of the year when he won the Italian Open one week before the 12 European Ryder Cup players head to Illinois to defend the title won in Wales two years ago. It was the 31-year-old Madrid star’s sixth victory on the Tour (he also won the 2007 Italian Open).

“Not making the Ryder Cup was disappointing,” he said. “I had a victory, two second-placed finishes and one third, and it hasn’t been good enough. It’s tough.

“You have to play well in the big events, and that’s what I didn’t do this year unfortunately. I have talked to Olly about the Ryder Cup many, many times. I can laugh about it now but it hasn’t been easy.

“I just needed to believe in myself and put the Ryder Cup out of my head, which I’ve done this week. I changed my schedule a little – I normally travel on a Tuesday but I arrived here on Wednesday, mainly because I wanted to see the kids start school.”


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