Sergio parece no tener rival en Valderrama a falta de la jornada definitiva

Sergio García. @BOSCOMARTÍN.

Sergio García (-10) ha firmado la mejor vuelta del torneo, 64 golpes, siete bajo par para ponerse en cabeza del Andalucía Valderrama Masters con cuatro de ventaja sobre el inglés Ashley Chesters. Una espectacular tarjeta de siete birdies sin errores dejan a Sergio a solo un paso de reeditar las victorias de 2011 y 2017, ya que finalmente el torneo ha sido reducido a 54 hoyos debido a las inclemencias del tiempo. En el pelotón de cabeza se encuentran también Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño (-4) y Álvaro Quirós (-4) que pueden asegurar mañana su puesto en el Circuito para el año que viene.

 Sergio parece no tener rival en Valderrama, aunque se muestra cauteloso para la jornada definitiva. “Esto no se ha acabado. Valderrama es como es, muy complicado. Sin ninguna duda es un campo que me entusiasma y afortunadamente me han ido bien las cosas durante muchos años aquí, aunque eso no significa que ya esté hecho.

“Probablemente la de hoy ha sido una de mis mejores vueltas en Valderrama. He jugado muy bien desde el tee, he cogido muchos greens, y en los dos o tres que he fallado, he hecho buenos approach y putt. El campo está un poco más fácil por la lluvia, pero aquí siempre hay que estar muy fino.

 “La última vez que hice 64 golpes era par 72. Ahora el campo es un poco más complicado que entonces, pero cuando llueve y se pone más blando, nos da más opciones. No lo juego de una manera diferente. Intento jugarlo siempre como lo encuentro.

 “Es increíble cómo está el campo a pesar de la lluvia. En cualquier otro lugar del mundo estaríamos con el barro hasta el cuello y aquí ibas andando y en varios hoyos la bola no cogía ni barro. En increíble cómo drena y lo bien que está siempre. Tenemos que sentirnos orgullosos”.

 Aunque la actuación de Sergio les ha alejado de la pelea por el triunfo, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño y Álvaro Quirós se encuentran empatados en el tercer puesto junto al escocés Marc Warren, a seis golpes de la cabeza. El domingo tienen la oportunidad de salvar la temporada y mantener los derechos de juego en el Circuito para el próximo año.

Gonzalo ha firmado 68 golpes (-3). “Estoy contento porque el objetivo era un puesto para mantener la tarjeta, pero nos hemos colocado bien de cara a la última vuelta. He ganado dos torneos a 54 hoyos, eso lo tengo en mente, pero la última jornada no va a ser fácil.

Sergio García. @BOSCOMARTÍN.

 “Nunca me he visto en una situación parecida [peleando para mantener la tarjeta], pero creo que el hecho de jugar en casa y especialmente en Valderrama es una baza que juega a mi favor”.

El golfista de Guadiaro, Álvaro Quirós, ha firmado 70 golpes, uno bajo par. “El resultado es espectacular. Se hace difícil conciliar una buena vuelta de golf tal y como estamos jugando, pero son las mismas condiciones para todos.

 “El juego no es brillante. Estoy lidiando muy bien con lo que me estoy encontrando en cada momento, esa está siendo mi habilidad esta semana. Estoy haciendo una labor genial recuperando.

 “El campo está espectacular, en ese sentido no hay queja. Estoy completamente seguro de que otros campos, con la mitad de lo que ha sufrido este, estarían injugables. Los greens están muy buenos, el rough decente y las calles prácticamente perfectas”.

 El corte ha quedado establecido en +4 y lo han superado los españoles Jorge Campillo (-1), Alejandro Cañizares (+1), Nacho Elvira (+2), Pep Anglés (+3), Eduardo de la Riva (+3) y Samuel del Val (+4), además de García, Fernández-Castaño y Quirós.

La última vuelta del Andalucía Valderrama Masters comenzará a las 9.00 y los jugadores saldrán simultáneamente por el tee del 1 y del 10.


Sergio surges ahead in Spain

Round two report

Defending champion Sergio Garcia opened up a four-shot lead to take command going into the final round of the weather-shortened Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Garcia shot a bogey-free round of 64 to get to ten under par at the end of round two as he seeks his third win at this event, with first-round leader Ashley Chesters of England his nearest challenger at six under par.

A series of weather delays on the first two days prevented Garcia – who also won the 2011 edition of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters – from playing at all on Friday. After more inclement weather disrupted the early starters again on day three, it already been announced that the event would be reduced to 54 holes before he began his second round on Saturday afternoon.

Garcia made a fast start when he got out onto the course, chipping in from just off the second green to pick up his first shot of the day as he went on to fire seven birdies to match his lowest-ever score at Real Club Valderrama.

Spanish pair Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño and Scot Marc Warren are six shots off the lead, and two behind Chesters, at four under par. Fernández-Castaño and Warren came into the week sitting at 125th and 144th respectively in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and require a strong finish to retain their playing privileges.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry and Englishman Lee Westwood are one shot further back on three under par, with French pair Grégory Bourdy and Raphael Jacquelin amongst a group of eight players at two under par.

Player quotes

Sergio García: “The conditions were pretty favourable; I did see a four or five under if you play well, but it was one of those days when I struck the ball really, really well. Every time I had to get up and down I did and I was very consistent throughout the whole day, which obviously makes a big difference.

“I love how this course plays; it’s not a long golf course but you have to be very accurate. Unfortunately a lot of the courses we play nowadays it’s just grab your driver, hit it as hard as you can and that’s it. The beautiful thing about this golf course is that you have to think your way around; you pretty much play every club in your bag.

“Obviously, we would have loved the tournament to go 72 holes but unfortunately we can’t control the weather and it’s been a little bit rough for us this week. We tried to make the best decision possible and tomorrow we have to play hard.”

Ashley Chesters: “There’s only one round to go and I’m not too far off the lead. I’ve got a bit of making up to do, so I don’t know if going to 54 holes makes much difference.

“There’s always a chance. There’s not a lot of pressure on me. I’ve had a decent year, I’ve got my card sorted, and I’ve got the last few events to aim to get in to if I can have a good week here. I’ve not really got a lot to lose so I can have a go tomorrow and see what happens.

“I’ll be playing with Sergio, who was always one of my favourite players when I was growing up. I would imagine there will be quite a lot of Spanish people hoping he will win, so I would imagine it will be a bit different tomorrow.”

Marc Warren: “It’s been a long two rounds of golf with all the delays we’ve had, but really pleased with the position I’m in. Four under after two rounds here is very pleasing.

“I think if you’re in a good position close to the lead, 54 holes benefits you, you have 18 holes left to try to win the tournament. I think everyone understands the position the tournament director has been in this week with the weather. It’s been really tough but the whole staff, from green staff and everyone have done a great job to get us out there. The course is unbelievable. I think anywhere else we would be off already.”

Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño: “My goal this week was to finish in the top 15, that would probably keep my playing rights for next year. I think I gave myself a very good chance of doing that, going into the last round. Even maybe a chance of winning the tournament.

“I’m a member here, but you very rarely play this course in these soft conditions. I was hoping for Valderrama playing at it’s best, and by that I mean when it’s firm, fast, windy. We had none of that this week.

“I’ve won the Italian Open and the Singapore Open, they were both 54 holes, so I do have good memories of playing 54 holes. But I have to give the European Tour staff a lot of credit this week, because I think they did a great job, especially yesterday when they stopped play before we restarted this morning.”

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