Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Paula Martinez speak about the Open de Espana birdie pledge for Make-A-Wish Spain  (Getty Images)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Paula Martinez speak about the Open de Espana birdie pledge for Make-A-Wish Spain (Getty Images)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and a number of fellow European Tour professionals will be raising thousands of Euros for Make-A-Wish Spain this week with a birdie pledge at the Open de España.

Seven-time European Tour winner Fernandez-Castano, who has long been interested in charity work through his foundation, was announced on Wednesday as a new global ambassador for Make-A-Wish Spain by the President of the charity.

And the work will begin immediately, after the 33 year old encouraged fellow Tour members Pablo Larrazábal, Sergio García, Francesco Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Emiliano Grillo, Matteo Manassero, Paul Lawrie, Alejandro Cañizares, Pedro Oriol and more to join him in donating €100 for every birdie and €150 for every eagle made this week during competition days at PGA Catalunya Resort.

The money raised from the Open de España birdie pledge will go to Paula Martinez, a 14 year old Spanish girl with cancer in her back who still retains dreams of becoming a professional dressage horse rider.

After hard work and hours of chemotherapy and other treatments, doctors have recently told Paula she can begin to ride horses again.

Fernandez-Castano said: “When I heard the story of Paula and what she wanted to do I said ‘We need to support this somehow!’

“So we came up with this idea of giving €100 for every birdie we made this week but I thought, as I’m playing terribly, I better congregate some more players so we can make Paula’s wish a truly experience.

“So thanks to the power of social media, I tweeted to my fellow players – the likes of Sergio, Larrazabal, Pedro Oriol and even some international players like Manassero, Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Emiliano Grillo, all great friends – and they all seemed to love the idea and when I told them about Paula’s story they really backed her and said great.

“We are all going to make as many birdies as possible!”

Carmela Piera, a board member of Make-A-Wish Spain, added: “I am so grateful to Gonzalo, Alicia and all the players that have joined the birdie pledge, that I really do not know how to thank them all.

“I would say that it does not surprise me the support we are having from them because, after 25 years working in the world of golf, I know they always want to help, especially if it is something that deals with children.

“You just have to find the right way to gather them all, and Gonzalo has found the key. It is great. We appreciate it so much, and wish them all many many birdies, not only for the Foundation but to see them fighting for the title on Sunday. We wish them all many birdies in their lives, they deserve them.”

Make-A-Wish Spain was formed in 1999 and since then has helped more than 2,000 beneficiaries and more than 600 individual projects.  The company was founded in Arizona in 1980 and now works in almost 50 countries besides America through 37 worldwide affiliated offices, granting the wishes of children with terminal illnesses.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Pablo Larrazabal
Pedro Oriol
Emiliano Grillo
Matteo Manassero
Paul Lawrie
Sergio Garcia
Alejandro Cañizares
Carlos Pigem
Alvaro Velasco
Jordi Garcia Pinto
Alvaro Quiros
José María Olazábal
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Francesco Molinari
Felipe Aguilar
Nicolas Colsaerts
Thomas Bjorn
Javier Colomo

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-4
T2GREEN, RichardAUS18-4
T2PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-4
4LUITEN, JoostNED18-3
T5KIEFFER, MaximilianGER18-2
T5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-2

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