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Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Rafa Cabrera Bello  (European Tour)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (European Tour)

Rafa Cabrera Bello may have been competing in the Masters Tournament last week but there will be no let-up in intensity when he tees it up at the Open de España - an event he regards as a "fifth Major".

One of the European Tour's most prestigious events returns this week after a year off in 2017 and it returns to the home of Spanish golf at Centro Nacional de Golf.

The tournament has an illustrious list of winners, with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Bernhard Langer and Sir Nick Faldo sitting alongside Spanish greats such as Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.

Cabrera Bello is delighted to see it back on the European Tour International Schedule and admits it would be a dream come true to add his name to the trophy.

"It's obviously a dream to win the Spanish Open," he said. "It's the biggest thing that you dream of when you're a kid and you're a Spaniard.

I'm very excited. For all Spaniards, it's our fifth Major! - Rafa Cabrera Bello

"It's one of the oldest events in European Tour history and we're very proud that it is the Spanish Open. It has great winners - a lot of them Spaniards as well, who are my idols - and it is definitely one trophy that I would like to add to my CV.

 "I'm sure that we're going to have really big crowds and I'm sure there will be a really big support by Spanish golfers. I'm very excited. For all Spaniards, it's our fifth Major!

"We missed out on it last year and it's been hard for the Spanish Federation to keep the event going. I know they've put a huge amount of work, together with the European Tour and the Madrid Golf Federation, for the event to be held this year.

"I know it came out a little late and we had to find a gap in the schedule to sneak it in but I'm very happy it is back."

Another man pleased to see the event return is Grégory Bourdy.

The Frenchman had a top ten the last time it was held here in 2007 and despite the weather not being exactly what you would associate with Spain so far this week, he is delighted to be in the capital.

"It's always nice to play in Spain," he said. "It's a nice country and a nice time of year - they normally have some sun but we're still waiting for it! They have some great golfers here.

"I've played here and I have some good memories on this course. I played here about ten years ago and I have some good memories. I haven't played here this week yet but apparently the fairways and greens are in good shape.

"You need to be in good shape here. I think it's a tight course and you need to hit some good tee-shots, that's the most important thing. From what I remember, they have some short holes and some long holes so it's a great course to play. It's really enjoyable and I'm expecting to play well this week.

"I'm playing well after five weeks off. I feel good, confident and I always said I would like to play in Spain, so I hope it's going to be a good week for me."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RAHM, JonESP18-20
2DUNNE, PaulIRL18-18
3ELVIRA, NachoESP18-17
4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-16
T5WARREN, MarcSCO18-15
T5CAMPILLO, JorgeESP18-15

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