Pablo Larrazábal is excited by the prospect of entertaining his home fans as he aims to maintain his excellent form when the DP World Tour returns this week for the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain.
The Spaniard, who sits 11th in the DP World Tour rankings, won his sixth DP World Tour title at the MyGolfLife Open in South Africa in March.
After a three-week break since his last Tour appearance at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, where he finished tied fifth, Larrazábal is refreshed for the first of back-to-back events in Spain.
Despite the break in the schedule, Larrazábal is adamant there is no reason why he can’t continue to build on his impressive upturn in results during the upcoming four-week stretch in Europe.
“I am ready to go,” he said ahead of the tournament’s debut on the DP World Tour. “I have been playing great, been practising great at home. There is nothing wrong with three weeks at home.
“To keep the momentum, you have to keep working and keep the routines going. That is all about preparation.”
Since coming through the Qualifying School in 2007 and winning the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award the following season, Larrazábal has been one of the DP World Tour's most consistent performers.
However, he finished outside the top 100 on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex for the first time last season.
Asked what he puts his upturn in form down to this year, Larrazábal said: “Well, as a professional golfer you have to realise that you are an entertainer. You are a sportsman but mostly we are entertainers.
“The first year to 16 months of golf during the Covid-19 pandemic were tough. As I said to you, I am an entertainer of people, and we were not doing that.
"We played 16 months with no crowds and that didn’t help my golf, my attitude at all. To play for money is not the way I play golf nowadays.”
During the short break since his last event, Larrazábal hosted an event in his name run by the PGA of Spain at his hometown course, El Prat.
Now, despite growing up in nearby Barcelona, the 38-year-old is set for his first competitive round at Infinitum’s Lakes Course – venue of this week’s event.
“Today is my first nine holes out here,” he added. “I came here four years ago to see a couple of friends on the last day of the Final Stage at Qualifying School.
“I met Iván Cantero, my brother worked with him for a few years, and I met a good friend of mine now in Guido Migliozzi.
“It was a good day, both got their Tour card. Watching Guido play the back nine at Q-School here I told his manager that he was going to be a winner and he won twice in the next eight months on Tour so I am not that bad at watching a little bit of golf!
“Those are my only two days at this course. But after nine holes you realise how good this golf course is and the conditions are brilliant. Hopefully the rain stays away from here so that we can see how good the work is of the groundsmen.”
Water is an undeniable feature of this week’s course in Tarragona, but that is not something that is set to faze Larrazábal as he goes in search of a seventh DP World Tour title.
“There are a lot of lakes, but you guys know me,” he said. “I have been on Tour for 15 years; I didn’t come here for holidays and to make business you have to make birdies. Birdies are going to bring you trophies. That is why we came and that is how I play golf.”