Jon Rahm is planted in the hole 2 of Valderrama, on torrid hot day and light Levante, and imagines several hits. On the other hand, Sergio García, who was also 24 years old, but now has 39 and a daughter, always knows what he has to hit in that hole that penalizes the perfect shot because a cork tree in the middle of the street protects the green. Valderrama, like Augusta, is a field of experience, so short, so well done, that it scares away the prototype of bombers that touch the 300 meters of flight each week. It is a journey for the imagination. The two timelines of the headliners of the Estrella Damm Andalucía Másters, which starts today, have the green trap field of the 17th hole, that of Jiménez albatross in 95, a converging point. Rahm started playing golf because Edorta, his father, abandoned climbing and risk sports magnetized by the 1997 Ryder Cup. Ten years later, it was the teenager who asked Stenson and Casey to sign him at the polo shirt he wore. day he visited for the first time this field that still does not dominate with ease and that in 2017, in his only professional experience here, he separated him two days after the tournament. "Because of the way of playing, it's a field that Sergio goes to," he acknowledges. Garcia is also marked by Valderrama. It was the field where he was trained since he was a kid before playing the children's tournaments in the United States. Its founder, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, treated him as a grandson and allowed him more licenses than the others, even if he was not a member.
Now you are part of that restricted group. And it gives name to a tent, even. He has earned it to pulse after three wins the last three times that the European Tour stopped in Valderrama (2011, 2017 and 2018). With something more faith than the last weeks, try what nobody in Spain has achieved since 1923: win the same tournament four times. Since Ángel de la Torre, the first Spaniard to play a big one, he did it with the Spanish Open. He also won the 1925. "We're going to try it, we've gone to things from the past," he says, an optimistic message at the sight of what he said two weeks ago where everything was lamenting. "I would love to play the last game against Sergio on Sunday and beat him," says Rahm, reinforcing a sporting rivalry that propels Spanish golf every time it happens. Like the Seve-Olazábal of the eighties. Or the Fuente-Ocaña, in cycling, and the combats of Velázquez Carrasco when the Spanish sport was domestic and did not have the worldwide significance that is now applauded. THE BRITISH, LIKE BONUS For the rest of the 20 Spaniards, except for Otaegui and Campillo , already classified, the Andalusian Masters has a spatial connotation. Enter the top 10 of the tournament and get one of the three tickets for Portrush, the stage of the British Open, the big one that started all this Spanish idyll in 1979.