As the Volvo Masters prepares to bid farewell to its spiritual home of Valderrama, Felipe Ortiz-Patiño, the club president was fulsome in his praise of the event and all it has done for both Valderrama and Andalucia.
Between 1988 and 1996, then again from 2002 and 2008, Club de Golf Valderrama have gone hand in glove, two great golf brands, internationally renowned, globally respected.
But for five short years between 1997 and 2001 when the Volvo Masters moved to Montecastillo to accommodate the Ryder Cup at Valderrama, the course has delivered more drama that Granada's world famous Alhambra Theatre, another of Andalucia's greatest assets.
Now as the Volvo Masters stands on the eve of its 21st and final grand finale, Felipe Ortiz-Patiño, President of Club de Golf Valderrama paid tribute to the Volvo Masters and all it has done for golf in the region.
"It's a bit sad, the end of the Volvo Masters, the end of an era, and the Volvo Masters has been of great benefit to Valderrama, to Andalucia and also to the San Roque area," he said, adding, "Without Volvo, none of this, the Ryder Cup, the American Express World Championship would have been possible."
He added, "This year, for the final year, we have decided to make a few changes to the Valderrama course with the help of that great designer Kyle Phillips; we have lengthened the 1st and 13th holes and changes the orientation of the 16th to encourage the top players to use driver off the tee and the changes have been widely welcomed."
For his part, Per Ericsson, President & CEO, Volvo Event Management said of Valderrama, "It is, in my opinion, the best course in Europe and Valderrama and the Volvo Masters have been great for each other.
"It has been one of the great partnerships in world golf and I am certain Valderrama will go on to host many great championships in the future," he concluded.
The course record at Valderrama is 62, scored by German Bernhard Langer back in 1994 when he went on to win the Volvo Masters, whilst two players have recorded an albatross on the infamous 17th hole, Los Gabiones, Miguel Angel Jiménez in 1994 and again last year when Graeme McDowell holed his second shot in front of huge galleries and the President's Club.
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