Ivan Cantero Gutierrez will be looking to use all of his match play experience and make his mark on the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 in his home country this week.
The Spaniard turned professional in 2017 after a successful amateur career which included numerous victories along with an appearance in the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup – part of a team which included European Tour winner Renato Paratore plus European Tour players Marcus Kinhult and Bradley Neil, who graduated from the European Challenge Tour last season.
Following a difficult start to life in the paid ranks, the 22 year old secured his highest finish on Europe’s top developmental tour last week, claiming a share of 14th at the 56˚ Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort, so arrives in his homeland full of confidence.
With a wealth of match play experience on his side, the young Spaniard will tee it up at Valle Romano Golf in the innovative event which comprises of two days of traditional stroke play before the top 64 players progress to the weekend for a series of nine-hole match play battles.
“I am a really good match play player – I prefer match play to stroke play,” he said. “I think it is my best game because I like to drive on each hole and put the pressure on, and that is good for me.
“Playing Junior Ryder Cup was fantastic. I think it is the best tournament for amateurs and it was a very good experience, and it helped me to play on the Challenge Tour.”
Although fresh from a career-best finish last week, the former Barcelona Amateur champion, French International Amateur winner and Andalucía Cup victor believes this week’s event in the picturesque setting of Valle Romano is more to his liking.
“This week is exciting because it’s two days of stroke play and then match play,” he said. “I’ve played in Valle Romano and it’s a good course. I think it’s the best course in the south of Spain, especially for match play.”