Top European field at Valderrama for Andalucía Masters

Alexander Noren

Nicolas Colaserts

Alejandro Cañizares

José María Olazábal

Jeev Milkha Singh

The elite of European golf will gather next week at Valderrama for the second edition of the Andalucía Masters.  The 96-man field includes 16 Spaniards and features some of the world’s best players.

Seven members of the winning Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor will compete for the Andalucía Masters title: Italy’s Edoardo andFrancesco Molinari; Sweden’s Peter Hanson; England’s Ross Fisher –winner of the 2009 edition of the Volvo World Match Play staged at nearby Finca Cortesín-; Germany’s Martin Kaymer, the 2010 US PGA Champion, ranked 6th in the world and 4th in the Race to Dubai; Nothern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the second European to conquer the US Open, and the first in the last forty years, and, of course, Málaga’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez. They will be joined by twice US Masters champion and European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal.

 Five former winners at Valderrama will be looking to capitalize on their experience: Ireland’s Paul McGinley, and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, winners of the 2005 and 2006 Volvo Masters respectively; England´s Justin Rose returning to the scene of his last European win, the 2007 Volvo Masters, having captured three PGA Tour events in the meantime; 2008 Volvo Masters winner, Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen, a player who thrives in Spain and, last but not least, title defender Graeme McDowell.

19 current season winners, including three Spaniards: Málaga’s Pablo Martín, who opened the European Tour season by defending his title at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa; home favourite Álvaro Quirós, winner at Dubai, hole-in-one included, (European Tour Shot of Month for February) and Barcelona’s Pablo Larrazábal, who birdied the fifth playoff hole to claim a dramatic victory over SergioGarcía (also confirmed for Andalucía Masters) at the BMW in Munich.

Other big names present at Valderrama will be Denmark’s Thomas Björn, aiming for his fourth victory this season, having won the Commercialbank Quatar Masters, the  Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles and the European Masters; Frenchmen Raphaël Jaquelin – winner in Sicily- and Thomas Levet, who claimed the French Open title; England’s David Horsey, winner of the Hassan II Trophy; Italy’s Matteo Manassero, who claimed his second career title in Malasia two days before turning 18; Belgium’s Nicolas Colaserts, the Volvo China Open champion; and South African Thomas Aiken, who dedicated his Spanish Open victory to Seve Ballesteros.

Also in contention will be Sweden’s Alexander Noren, who secured the Wales Open in June and was the home winner at the Nordea Masters one month later; Englishmen Robert Rock, winner in Italy, Oliver Fisher, who claimed his maiden win at the Czech Open, and Kenneth Ferrie, winner in Austria; Australia’s Matthiew Zions, who prevailed at Saint Omer; and Martin Kaymer, who cruised to a third Abu Dhabi Championship in January.

José María Olazábal, Álvaro Quirós, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Sergio García, Pablo Larrazábal, Pablo Martín, Rafael Cabrera, José Manuel Lara, Ignacio Garrido, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Alejandro Cañizares, Álvaro Velasco, Carlos del Moral, Manuel Quirós, Carlos Suneson and Santiago Luna, will be the 16 Spaniards aiming for a home win.

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