DEFENDING CHAMPION: American John Catlin broke through for his first European Tour victory shooting 75 in tough scoring conditions on the final day. Martin Kaymer had a chip for par to tie Catlin on the final green, but it stopped agonisingly short of the cup.

John Catlin with the impressive Andalucia Masters. PHOTO: Getty Images.

COURSE: Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and opened for play in 1974, Club de Golf Valderrama has been hosting European Tour events for decades, as well as the 1997 Ryder Cup and the WGC American Express Championship in 1999 and 2000. It is widely considered as one of the best courses in Continental Europe

The approach into the 15th hole at Valderrama. PHOTO: Getty Images.

PRIZEMONEY: €3,000,000.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: World No.1 Jon Rahm continues his homecoming tour and, as was the case in Madrid last week, he will be the centre of attention all four days.

Two of his seven European Tour victories have come on Spanish soil, and Rahm now has his sights on capturing another home title

In his last appearance at Valderrama in 2019, Rahm finished runner-up to South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

RELATED: So-called expert golf tips for this week

“I have some unfinished business at Valderrama, that’s for sure,” Rahm said.

“As a Spaniard, it’s a golf course where we all want to win. As soon as you arrive you get a real sense of the history of the venue and the great moments that have taken place there over the last 30 years. To be a part of that would really be an honour.

“I’ve had nothing but great experiences of playing in front of home crowds. Spanish golf fans are truly special, and I can’t wait to see them lining the fairways again.”

Jon Rahm will be the most popular player on course again this week. PHOTO: Getty Images.

Rahm won’t be the only major champion teeing it up at Valderrama.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer, the 2014 US Open and 2010 PGA Champion, is also a former World No.1 and came within inches of forcing a play-off last year at Valderrama – where he has more experience than most of this week’s field.

“Since the first time I played this course in 2007, it has been a career goal of mine to win at Valderrama,” said Kaymer. “Coming so close last year has only added fuel to that fire and I’m really looking forward to having another chance to return to Sotogrande later this month.

“I’ll never forget my first practice round at Valderrama. It was just me and a golf trolley and it was one of the most enjoyable rounds I’ve ever played.”

Min Woo Lee drives during the Spanish Open. PHOTO: Getty Images.

Of the Aussies travelling to Valderrama this week, Min Woo Lee has the best most recent result at the course. The West Australian finished T23 in this event in 2019, having carded two sub-par rounds in a tough scoring week.

Lee and fellow West Australian, Jason Scrivener, both possess a game well-suited to Valderrama, where – in recent years – a premium has been placed on par.

72-HOLE RECORD: Aggregate – 272, Sergio Garcia (2017); To par – 12 under, Sergio Garcia (2017).

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No Aussie has won the event.

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Min Woo Lee, Scott Hend, Jason Scrivener.


Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 11pm – 4am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 2am) 
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 2am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 2am)

*AEDT, check local guides