Garcia Suprise Headliner in Spain

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While all of Europe's top names are competing in the lucrative World Match Play Championship in England, Spain's Sergio Garcia has instead opted to play in his country's Mallorca Classic at the Pula Golf Course on the island of Majorca.
 
It marks the first time the Spaniard has played in this event and he will be joined by fellow countryman Jose Maria Olazabal. Notably absent will be the defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who chose to play in the match play event.
 
It was Jimenez and Olazabal who put on quite a show in the tournament's inaugural year last season. Olazabal held a solid three-shot lead over Jimenez as he strode to the par-4 17th, but a disastrous double bogey dropped him back into just a share of the lead.
 
Olazabal then proceeded to bogey the 18th and hand the title over to an obviously surprised Jimenez.
 
'Just imagine how I feel right now,' said Olazabal after giving the victory away. 'The tournament was mine when I was standing on the 17th tee but I just didn't know how to catch it.'
 
'I'm obviously very happy to have won, but it was a surprise to me,' said Jimenez. 'But that is golf for you.'
 
The fans in Spain can only hope for more fireworks like that as world No. 10 Garcia looks forward to the occasion.
 
I am very happy to be able to play for the first time as a professional in the Balearic Islands and to help to promote the Mallorca Classic in its second year on The European Tour International Schedule, said Garcia.
 
Also on the line are spots still open for inclusion into the European Tour's season-ending Volvo Masters. The top-60 on the tour's Order of Merit (money list) qualify for the event at Valderrama.
 
The purse for the event is $1,240,000 with $206,000 going to the winner.
 
The Golf Channel will televise all four days beginning Thursday at 12:15 p.m. ET.
 
Next week, the European Tour continues in Spain for the Open de Madrid, where Ricardo Gonzalez is the defending champion.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Mallorca Classic