Garcia the perfect host, who kept their tour cards, double hits, and an albatross

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It was all happening at the Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia emerged from a Sunday thriller with Joost Luiten to claim his third win of 2017

What happened at the Valderrama Masters?

It turned out to be a two-man race and, in the end, it was the tournament host Sergio Garcia who pipped Joost Luiten for his sixth win on home soil. Garcia won the previous instalment of this, back in 2011, so effectively it was a defence and he now has three wins on the European Tour this year after his victories in Dubai and Augusta.

He closed with a 67 for a highly unlikely winning 12 under total, one better than Luiten, and four clear of Daniel Brooks of England.

Garcia birdied 9, 10 and 11 to go three clear and you might have expected the back nine to fizzle out. But he then bogeyed 12, Luiten birdied 13 and 15 and we were then all square. But the Dutchman three-putted the next and, after a pair of birdies at 17, Luiten lipped out at the last from around 25 feet.

“Daniel played great with everything he had on the line, trying to keep his card, and Joost played unbelievable. I played really well and felt like maybe I could get away and he just kept coming back and made it an amazing match. I stayed patient the whole time, made sure the bad moments didn’t affect me too much and made a couple of really key putts coming in,” Garcia said.

“I want to dedicate this one to my wife Angela and our little baby coming next year in March – this one is for them.”

Talking points

That’s it for the 2017 season in terms of who kept their playing privileges for next season and it was a huge week for Daniel Brooks whose third-place finish saw him rocket from 123rd to 97th on the Race to Dubai. The leading 101 players kept their cards. The Englishman needed to finish 8th or better to have a chance via the Access List but he managed it in style with a 64 on Saturday and a 71 nudged him into third on his own.

Jamie Donaldson wouldn’t have lost his card as he is in the top 40 for career earning but, with that only lasting one season, this was a massive week for the 2014 Ryder Cup man. The Welshman finished fourth to move from 118th to 99th on the money list – a share of fourth and he would have finished outside the top 101. He might have to buy Scott Jamieson a nice glass of something after the Scot doubled the 16th.

Other good stories included Wade Ormsby, who was fifth to move up 24 places to 82nd, Ashley Chesters (see Best Quote) and Ricardo Gouveia who sneaked the penultimate spot on the Access List with his 23rd-place finish.

Last week we had Sergio Garcia and Austin Connelly reunited at the Italian Open, 18 years on from a meeting in Texas. This week we had Jon Rahm returning to Valderrama, a decade after getting Henrik Stenson to sign his chest. Incredibly/not incredibly this was Rahm’s first professional start in an event in Spain – he missed the cut.

Shots of the week

It wasn’t quite enough but Luiten is quite sensational when it comes to par 3s and he managed this on the 69th hole of a huge tournament when one shot off the lead..

How to close out the front nine on Tournament Sunday..

Brooks had some week in Spain, here he is somehow making a key birdie at 13…

The rarest of birds and all that on Friday. When Luiten is on, he really is on..

Let’s be honest most of us would have double, if not treble, hit this… Jamie Donaldson doing the business from some tufty greenside rough.

OK, it’s not one of the best shots but could you imagine being a member at Valderrama and facing this tee ball every week?

Quote of the week

“I’m so glad it’s over. So glad it’s over with a good score. It was probably actually worse than being in with a chance of winning because it’s just not the nicest of feelings and I’m very, very pleased it’s over.”

Ashley Chesters, who shot 69-68 0ver the weekend, to secure his card for 2018 after moving up from 11th to 8th on the Access List. The top 10 survived…

Best dressed

We’ll overlook the white belt on what was a massive week for Brooks. The shade of pink gives him the nod though if there were some more pics of Robert Rock on day three that fitted the shape of this page then he wouldn’t have got a look in.

Daniel Brooks

Worst dressed

There are few bigger fans of Martin Kaymer, and his shiny forearms and his general Boss get-up, but this was disappointing. This resembled something like Arsenal would be wearing when getting knocked out of the FA Cup in the 90s. Kaymer wasn’t planning on playing in Spain and only rang Sergio for an invite late on so maybe he didn’t have a chance to pick up his best threads?

Martin Kaymer

Best tweets

Best stats

 

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