Sergio Garcia is excited that his year’s Andalucía Valderrama Masters will not only provide a premier sporting event for his home country, but it will also help to support his charity, the Sergio Garcia Foundation - which plays host to the event next month.
The Real Club Valderrama will stage the third edition of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, the last European Tour stop on European soil before heading for China, Turkey, South Africa and Dubai.
From October 19-22, the event will be sponsored by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia with the support of the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
Garcia cannot wait to return to home soil for the eagerly-anticipated event and is thrilled to continue his charity’s association with the European Tour, having followed in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy and his Rory Foundation by hosting an event last year for the benefit of his charity.
“I am delighted to support the Andalucía Valderrama Masters through my Foundation,” said the Masters Champion. “As the tournament host, I would love to see everyone come and enjoy a great event and a wonderful occasion for all the Spanish players.
Sergio Garcia, supported by his family, set up his charitable Foundation in 2002 for the purpose of contributing to the social inclusion of economically deprived children and youths through social assistance benefits and the practice of sport as a free-time activity.
The Foundation supports, on a regular or occasional basis, a variety of initiatives in favour of persons with disabilities. The Sergio Garcia Foundation and the Deporte y Desafío Foundation joined forces in 2003 with the objective of introducing adaptive golf in Spain.
They developed together a twofold programme aimed, firstly, at making golf accessible to people with disabilities, thus helping them to be socially integrated. The second aim was to promote adaptive golf throughout the whole of Spain by means of specific training courses directed at golf teaching professionals. The Spanish Golf Federation as well as the Autonomic Federations later joined the initiative.
García has an outstanding record at Valderrama, winning the Andalucía Masters there in 2011, while he boasts a plethora of top ten finishes including a third place finish last year as Andrew Johnston won the Open de España.
“Valderrama is a very special place for me, full of good memories,” he said. “Obviously the best was when I finally managed to win in 2011. It is one of my favourite courses, one of the best in the world, and I always enjoy playing there.
“The course is always in top condition, with fast greens and superb maintenance. At last year’s Open de España we saw a big improvement in playability with the pruning of many cork trees, particularly on holes eight, 13 and 18.
“Each hole in Valderrama has its own attraction and I like them all, because they force you to keep thinking and stay focused from the first to the last shot. It is a very demanding course that doesn’t give you any breaks. You need to put the ball in the right places and keep the errors to the minimum, but you are bound to make errors, so patience is key at Valderrama. You must respect this course or it will turn against you at any moment. One of the things I like most is that it allows you to use all the clubs in the bag.”
“Last year I had another chance of winning at the Open de España. In the end I didn't make it, but it was a positive week because I kept trying up to the last putt – I gave it my best shot. I enjoyed being the tournament host and felt proud every time I saw the name of my Foundation on the course. We had a fairly good gallery and many visitors to our stand. I want to thank them all because we raised €65,480 for the Spanish Cancer Association of Castellón. The money was used to rent some apartments for the families of cancer patients who can’t afford them, so the family can be together during treatment.”