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European Tour Returns to Valderrama

Back in 1980 when the Eagles rock band broke up, drummer Don Henley declared that the band would play together “when Hell freezes over”. In 1994 they returned to the stage together in California, where guitarist Glenn Frey joked, “For the record, we never broke up; we just took a 14-year vacation.” In recent years, the prospect of the Costa del Sol once again hosting a top-tier European Tour event has seemed about as remote as the Eagles mending their differences and agreeing to a reunion tour and album (which just happened to be called “Hell Freezes Over”). The economic situation has deterred potential tournament sponsors, and the Junta de Andalucía (regional government) has changed its priorities from hosting major golf tournaments to other promotional activities. Sure, we had the NH Collection Open back in early-2014, but that was a minor event co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour, even if its venue, La Reserva de Sotogrande, is considered one of Spain’s finest. The heady days when multiple tour events had been held on the “Costa del Golf” every year seemed destined to fade into the distant mists of nostalgia. This week, however, the situation brightened – considerably. In a surprise announcement, the European Tour revealed that this year’s Open de España would be held at Valderrama from 14 to 17 April and hosted by the Sergio García Foundation – thus bringing together three iconic institutions in Spanish golf. Valderrama is, arguably, Spain’s most internationally renowned course. In 1997 it hosted the first Ryder Cup held outside the UK or the US, and it has also been the venue for two World Golf Championships, 16 Volvo Masters and two Andalucía Masters. In January it was announced that the Valderrama Group had been brought by Zagaleta Limited in an initiative which suggested plans were afoot to re-focus the global spotlight on the famous course. Happily, this has been proved true. The Open de España, meanwhile, is one of the Tour’s most historic championships, dating to 1912 when the inaugural edition was held in Madrid. Its former champions have included such celebrated stars as Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Arnold Palmer, while García himself won the title in 2002. Tournament host García is an 11-time winner on the European Tour, including the 2011 Andalucía Masters at Valderrama – incredibly, the only time a Spanish player has been able to win a Tour event at the course. The 2016 Open de España offers €2 million in prizemoney and will be the first tournament of the year to be played on European soil, after its “international schedule” sortie around the world over the first few months of the season, in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. [caption id="attachment_4190" align="alignright" width="300"] The renowned Valderrama course[/caption] Our featured home this week is conveniently located not far from Valderrama for any golf-loving buyers wanting to snap up a bargain (€2.2 million) and be able to enjoy exquisite home comforts during Open de España week. Exceptional Homes We appreciate your taking the time to read about this outstanding property, but perhaps it is not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other special selections for: La Zagaleta, Luxury Villas, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, Apartments and Special Offers. Click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com