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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”. […]

WORLDLY LUSTRE regained

28 Mar

Top players commit to new-look Volvo Match Play

Arnold Palmer – the inaugural winner in 1964 (Photo: IMG)

WHEN ARNOLD PALMER won the inaugural World Match Play Championship in 1964, the event was essentially an exhibition competition involving eight of Mark H. McCormack’s stable of stars. Palmer, the first player McCormack signed to his fledgling management company IMG, beat Englishman Neil Coles for a £5,000 cheque from a total prize fund of £16,000.

[…]

SCOT back in the GAME

27 Mar

Andalucian title for former British Open champion

IT HAD BEEN a long and frustrating nine years, but Paul Lawrie finally made it back onto the European Tour winner’s podium with a scrambling victory in the Open de Andalucía by Turkish Airlines at Parador Málaga de Golf.

[…]

“I’ll THINK ABOUT IT”

24 Mar

Jiménez woos Tiger with food and wine…

…but Woods’ private jet remains in Florida as Open de Andalucía gets underway

Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José María Olazábal

THEY WERE CHATTING at the Dubai Desert Classic in February when Miguel Ángel Jiménez popped the question to Tiger Woods: would he like to come and play in the Open de Andalucía on the Costa del Sol? […]

“WAR of ATTRITION”

31 Oct

McDowell last man standing at Valderrama

By PEDRO BOLICHERO

THE UNIVERSAL public view by players is that they relish the opportunity of teeing up at Valderrama. Privately, many also dread it. Of course, while golf is supposed to be fun for us lesser golfing mortals, for the game’s elite it is just another day at the office – and, as in any job, some days are better than others. Or, at Valderrama, worse than others. […]

TOP senior in HOT form

17 Oct

“Godfather of Asian Golf” blitzes Benahavis field

HE MIGHT NOT be a household name among golfing fans outside his home base but Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit has been shredding the record books in his rookie year on the European Senior Tour. […]

RETURN of the MASTERS

6 Oct

Andalucía’s favourite golfing son heads Valderrama field

(Photo: Michael Denker)

By PEDRO BOLICHERO

IT ALMOST seemed like losing an old friend when the Volvo Masters disappeared from the European Tour schedule after 2008. For many – fans, press and even players (though not all in the latter case) – the annual autumn trip to Valderrama was a high point of the year. […]