andalucia open preview


Alvaro Quiros will aim for a double Spanish success this week when he headlines the field in this week’s Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines, a tournament promoted by one of The European Tour’s most iconic figures – the unmistakeable Miguel Angel Jiménez.

The tournament, played over the Parador de Malaga Golf, has once again attracted a strong field spearheaded by the Spanish duo and bolstered by the likes of former and present Ryder Cup Captains Colin Montgomerie and José Maria Olazábal.

The Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines will be the first of a magnificent seven European visits to Spain in 2011, making the country the Tour’s most popular destination numerically on its International Schedule.

Quiros, the reigning Open de Espaňa champion as well as the winner of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year, is the highest ranked player in the field – being currently third in The Race to Dubai and 21st in the Official World Golf Ranking, and he is joined by fellow 2011 winners Pablo Martin of Spain, SSP Chowrasia of India and last week’s champion Raphaël Jacquelin of France.

“It’s great what Miguel is doing for Spanish golf by promoting the Open de Andalucia,” said Quiros. “I support everything he is doing and most of the Spanish players on the Tour want to play in the tournament to help his cause.”

Also bidding to collect the first title on Spanish soil in this season’s Race to Dubai are two former winners of the tournament; 2008 winner Thomas Levet of France and 2009 champion, Dane Søren Kjeldsen along with a host of players who, like Jiménez, Montgomerie and Olazábal, have tasted Ryder Cup glory, namely Darren Clarke, Niclas Fasth, David Howell, Paul McGinley and Phillip Price.

Tournament promoter Jiménez is one of the most popular men on The European Tour, and his natural ability to play the perfect host brings a unique element to this week’s event – a tournament that the man himself dearly cherishes as an opportunity to give something back to the game, and indeed the region of Andalucía, that has given him so much.

Another sign of Jiménez’s enduring popularity is indicated by the level of support the 47 year old has generated from the tournament’s sponsors.

His main supporters are the Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía as well as presenting sponsors Turkish Airlines, with Audemars Piguet, Osborne, AMG, Imsa Audi, Kyocera, Srixon, Los Monteros Hotel, Hotel Guadalmina, Ping, Mateos, Nizacars, Solán de Cabras, Sanap Ambiente, Solinca, Hotel Sol Príncipe and Gráficas Urania all lending invaluable support to the tournament.

“I am delighted to be able to host a tournament in Andalucía – the region that where I was born and the place I love so much,” said Jiménez, a winner of 18 European Tour titles.

“It is a very proud feeling to be able to give something back to the region, and to the game of golf, that has given me so much in my life.

“I have been playing on The European Tour for 23 years and to be able to give back to the game is very special.

“I am very happy with the field of players that are coming to play the event. I know that many of the guys are out in America and I understand why they cannot come here but to have guys such as Alvaro as well as the last and next Ryder Cup Captains in Monty and José Maria is special for us.

“The golf course is in very good condition and I am delighted to say that the improvements we recommended there are all taking shape and it is in great condition. I think we will have a very special week in Andalucía this week.”

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