Catch up with Padraig's busy playing schedule as well as finding out what he's doing off the course, from his role as the R&A's Working for Golf Ambassador, to the work he does raising awareness for the Special Olympics and as Ireland's Golf Ambassador.

Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation

Date: 19 Oct 2017 - 22 Oct 2017
Location: Real Club Valderrama

Entry Date:
Oct 17, 2017

Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
Padraig opens with a one over par round of 72 on a day where he mixed three birdies with four bogies. He got off to a bogie start but hit back immediately with a birdie on his second hole. Another birdie followed on the fifth hole but he dropped a shot on the ninth to be out in level par. He dipped under par again at the eleventh hole but two closing bogies in his last seven holes leave him with work to do going into Friday! Five under par leads after the opening round and he tees off early at 9.15am local time.

Padraig is in Spain this week for the Andalucia Valderrama Masters which is hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. A top class field has assembled but one of the main focuses will be on those players trying to earn their cards for next season as this is the final counting event. It is being played at the iconic Valderrama course which has hosted many notable events throughout the years, including a Ryder Cup! Padraig tees off at 1.45pm local time with Martin Kaymer and Jon Rahm.

This is the final week of the regular season on the European Tour and so the last week to qualify for the final three tournaments in Turkey, Sun City and Dubai. This year our final counting event is being held at Valderamma, the Andalucia Masters. It?s been a long time since I have played here, which I think was the final Volvo Masters event in 2008. It?s a little strange to come back as for so long this was the marker for your season. If you were playing here at the end of the season then you were in the top-60 on the Order of Merit. Now we have the Race to Dubai for that pleasure.

I have always battled with Valderamma - it?s a course that I find extremely tough and not necessarily high on my list of favorites, however over the years I have had some very good results here. While I have never managed to win, I have finished second 3 times I think and one of those second places won me the 2006 Order of Merit title. I suppose I am not the only person that finds its tough and so that?s probably why I have done okay on it over the years. I am not afraid of tough courses, at times they make me focus better than an easy course.

This year I am here in need of a good result to qualify for the end of season events. My last two weeks haven?t helped in my quest to make it all the way to Dubai so I am left with this week to make a big step towards it. I only got in on Tuesday night due to the storm back home on Monday. Luckily I had been down in Spain a few weeks ago with some friends and we played the course so I am not too stressed about not getting here until late.

I played the Wednesday pro-am which was only nine holes, for me the back nine. After the pro-am I did some practice mainly on my putting - I didn?t putt great in Italy and so I spent a couple of hours working on it. I felt a little uncomfortable at the start but by the end I was beginning to feel good over the ball. Other than putting, I just hit a few wedge shots and did some chipping and bunker practice. The nine hole pro-am makes it a lot easier to get some work done as you are not as tired after it.

The course is in great condition as ever. While it?s a course I find tough and difficult it is one you have to respect. There are plenty of shots that you have to give your full attention to, otherwise you can end up in a world of trouble.

I?m playing late Thursday and early Friday with Jon Rahm and Martin Kaymer. I?ve played with Martin many times but never with Jon, so I?m looking forward to seeing him up close.

This is an interesting week as everyone has their own personal battles. For me it is trying to qualify for Turkey but for a number of players here it is about trying to keep their cards. All the sub-plots add to the week and the viewing.

Talk soon,
Padraig.

ON TOUR

FAN MESSAGES

Mike Kilbride. - Basingstoke. UK. : Great golf in Portugal !! Best Wishes. Mike.

Dennis Buckley - Dublin : Well done sir ! Brilliant stuff.

Michael Reid - Bagor,Northern Ireland : Padraig - brilliant,well done, great to see you winning this. All the best for the future. Regards Michael Reid

Paddy McNamara - Artane : Knew you would do it. Cracking putt on the 18th. Well done. Jumping up and down celebrating. Delighted for you.

Philip Halpenny - Portmarnock Golf Club : Padraig, you've given us so many good days over the years and today was surely one of them. What a pleasure to see those steely eyes deliver at the Victoria Club. Your determination and self belief are an inspiration to all of us still trying to master our great game. Congratulations and thanks for the thrills that keep on coming. PH

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