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Host Garcia delighted to be back on his favourite course

Tournament host Sergio Garcia is delighted to be back at Real Club Valderrama for the Open de Espana, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. Photo: PA
Tournament host Sergio Garcia is delighted to be back at Real Club Valderrama for the Open de Espana, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. Photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Tournament host Sergio Garcia is delighted to be back at Real Club Valderrama for the Open de Espana, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The venue has been a happy hunting ground for world No 16 Garcia, who won the last European Tour event to be hosted there - the 2011 Andalucia Valderrama Masters - and names the course as his favourite in the world.

Garcia, who won this event in 2002, is excited to be hosting the Open de Espana for the first time.

He said: "It's amazing, there's nothing like it. To be able to be the host of the Spanish Open, one of the oldest opens we have on the European Tour, and also here at Valderrama. It's so iconic - I love it.

"It's really a great experience and I'm sure it will be a great tournament.

"When you come back to somewhere where you have done well, and feel comfortable and you know what you're doing, it always helps so hopefully there will more of that this week."

Garcia is one of several top players in a field that includes his Ryder Cup team-mates Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn, in-form Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello and Soren Kjeldsen, who finished joint-seventh at last week's Masters.

But Garcia (36) is not concerned about his time management as he prepares to juggle hosting and playing duties.

"You have to do a couple of things here and there, but once the week starts, the focus changes a bit - we won't be so busy so we are excited," Garcia added.

Two-time major champion Kaymer had been due to head to the RBC Heritage in America this week, but changed his plans due to the lure of playing at Valderrama.

Kaymer said: "I was supposed to play Hilton Head the week after the Masters but then I heard that this tournament was coming to Valderrama, so I thought 'I have to come here'. It is a very nice golf course.

"It is a golf course you would like to win on during your career. Valderrama, Wentworth, St Andrews. These are the core of the European Tour."

Open de Espana,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 11.30

Irish Independent

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