From 14-17 October, the historic Real Club Valderrama, close to Sotogrande, will be hosting the Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters 2021, a competition that has been officially declared an event of exceptional public interest. This prestigious tournament is part of the European Tour and will feature the best golfers on the tour, including Jon Rahm, the star of the moment in this sport.
During the first two days, the 126 players on the tournament's roster will face up to the challenge in two shifts of play, morning and afternoon. At the weekend, the 65 best players (and those tied) will make the cut and will play two decisive rounds in reverse order of their position.
The best-ranked players will play in the last matches of the day on Sunday 17th at Valderrama and the champion of the Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters will be declared.
Managing director of this prestigious club, Javier Reviriego, spoke to SUR in English about this important event and, of course, its main attraction - man of the moment in golf: Jon Rahm.
–The Estrella Damm Andalucía Masters 2021 that will be held next week at your club has been declared an event of exceptional public interest. What would you highlight about it? What is so special about it?
–I think it is a set of factors. Valderrama has historically been one of the reference courses for the European Tour, more than 25 professional tournaments of the highest level have been played here. Therefore, the venue plays an essential role in the success of the event since it is known throughout the world and will help promote the tournament and therefore the destination and our sponsors.
–The list of participating golfers is of the highest level. Could you highlight some names?
–When you are lucky enough to have the undisputed number 1 in the world, I think it outshines the rest of the players a bit. Right now, Jon is the great star of world golf and we feel very privileged that he is going to play at Valderrama. Of course, we must also highlight other players (we will have 18 of the world top 100 100) such as Mats Fitzpatrick, Martin Kaymer, Bern Weisberger, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Christian Bezuidenhout.
–I imagined having Jon Rahm was a source of satisfaction. How far do you think this player can go?
–Jon has everything going for him to become one of the best players in history. Achieving his first Major so young has taken a lot of pressure off him and I am sure he will win many more. If he avoids injuries and he keeps his motivation up, I have no doubt that he will be in the Top 10 in the world for many years.
–What would you highlight about him as a golfer?
–Everything about his game. He is good with a driver, with irons, he has a spectacular short game and is one of the best putters in the world.
A winning and fighting mentality should be added to all the technical aspects; he is a true 'killer' and has great ability to close tournaments.
–How will the tournament go do you think?
–I hope first of all that the weather is kind to us. We have been preparing the course for many months and it looks spectacular. The presence of Jon Rahm has aroused great interest and I am sure that there will be a large audience and that everyone will enjoy watching these players.
–What does an event like this mean for your club?
–It is an opportunity to show the world the quality of our course and our ability to host high-level tournaments. It helps us improve and increase our visibility, reputation and prestige.
– This tournament is part of the European golf circuit, which is further proof of its importance. Is this the most important event in this sport that is currently being held in our country?
–By quality of venue, level of players, prize pool and history, without a doubt.
–What does Valderrama have that other courses don't? Do events like this help to consolidate the prestige that has always accompanied these facilities?
–Valderrama is special in many ways. I would highlight the classic design of the course, a design that has stood the test of time and that still represents a great challenge to the best professionals, despite not being very long.
Of course, I would highlight the quality of upkeep, our commitment to the environment, the excitement caused in tournaments by the last four holes of the course and, of course, the history of the club. We must not forget that some of the best players in history have played rounds here.