Mijas this week is attracting the gaze of golf fans around the world as La Cala Resort welcomes one of the year’s standout championships.
Until Sunday, the Asia course at the resort will host the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9, one of two events of the Challenge Tour (the second-tier men’s professional golf tour in Europe) to be contested is Spain in 2017, alongside the Challenge de España.
The tournament will be played over 36 holes in the ‘stroke play’ format, followed by a series of ‘match play’ contests across nine holes for those who qualify.
156 players, 27 of whom are Spanish (and 10 from Andalucía), are competing for 200,000 euros of prize money and Road to Oman rankings.
The tour’s assistant director, José María Zamora, said at the tournament’s presentation on Monday that “because of the hard work of many people”, a ‘Challenge’ in Andalucía was possible, several years after the last.
“Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 was conceived six months and the innovative nature of it has captured the imagination of people around the world,” he added.
Golf and tourism
The relationship between golf and tourism on the Costa del Sol has been one of the major factors behind organising this tournament according to mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado, who believes that golf represents an important revenue stream as it combats seasonal tourism.