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Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Valle Romano Golf backdrop  (European Tour)
Valle Romano Golf backdrop (European Tour)

The European Challenge Tour heads to Spain for the second time this season for the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9. Here we take a look at the key facts and figures for the Andalucía action.

One – match play event on the Challenge Tour International Schedule. The Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 is the only match play tournament on the Challenge Tour in 2018.

Two and one – was Aaron Rai’s winning result in the final against Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan last year. The Englishman birdied the opening two holes before Moynihan birdied the third and fourth. However, Rai took control by birdieing the sixth and seventh before a par on the eighth sealed victory.

Three – players who made the knockout stage at last season’s event went on to graduate to the European Tour – Marcus Kinhult, Aaron Rai and Clément Sordet.

Four – kilometres to the beach. The Valle Romano Golf Resort is located in a picturesque part of the Costa del Sol with the beach a short walk south, and the Sierra Bermeja mountain acting as the perfect backdrop north of the course.

Five – of the holes at the Valle Romano Golf Course feature water hazards. The fifth contains water to the right of the green, while the par four sixth challenges the drive over the water to the dogleg left ahead of the green.

If you miss your approach shot to the left on the 12th you will be taking a drop as the picturesque hole features a lake alongside the green. The short par three 13th will see your tee shot fly over the lake, but keep it left otherwise it will be in the stream parallel to the green. The water continues down the right side of the 14th hole where competitors are advised to stay left on the fairway for the perfect approach shot.

Nine – holes of match play are what the players will face following the stroke play format.

13 – Aaron Rai birdies during the match play knockout stage as the Englishman grasped the title in 2017, including five birdies in the final. 

64 – players will battle it out in the match play format. After 36 holes of stroke play the field will be broken down by the top 64 players, who will challenge for the title through the knockout stages.

2008 – was the year Oliver Wilson, who is playing in his first Challenge Tour event of 2018 this week, made his Ryder Cup debut.

6,781 – yards – the length of the Valle Romano Golf Course. The players will have to navigate 18 holes before covering 3,491 yards in the match play competition on the back nine. 

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