Pablo Larrazabal is eager to correct the wrongs of 2020 with a decent performance at this week’s Andalucia Masters.
The event teed off early on Thursday morning at the Real Club Valderrama – a venue where the Spaniard has delivered some good showings in the past.
After enduring a tough return to the course since the Covid-19 outbreak, Larrazabal is hoping to draw some inspiration from his home country to put in a good shift over the course of the four days.
‘It’s nice to be back. Nice to finally have an event in Spain,’ he said ahead of Thursday’s first round.
‘Nice to see a lot of faces that we used to see for many weeks back in the day. Now unfortunately we only see them for one week a year. It’s nice to be back in Valderrama. A dream course. The Augusta National of Europe. It’s nice to play a tough golf course and in perfect, perfect conditions.’
The 37-year-old won his fifth European Tour title in December last year when he claimed victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek and made a decent start to the year before the lengthy break rocked his game to a worrying low.
Since the Tour’s restart with the ‘UK Swing’ in July, Larrazabal’s best-placed finish came at the British Masters where he secured T21 – something he admits has been bothering him a lot lately.
‘My game has probably been the worst two months of golf of my career. I’ve been playing very poorly.
‘I’ve been making cuts but making them with a little bit of magic. Out of 18 rounds in the UK Swing, I probably played decent golf only twice,’ the Spaniard added.
Larrazabal is one of 21 local Spanish players in the field, who will be eager to emerge victorious come Sunday after Christiaan Bezuidenhout won his first European Tour event at Valderrama last year.
The South African is, however, not part of this week’s field after competing on the PGA Tour for the majority of the season.
‘Coming in to Valderrama it’s different. It brings me a lot of memories, a lot of great golf that I played here, in front of my home crowds – obviously this week it will be different,’ Larrazabal continued.
‘I can’t wait to play golf with people again. It’s very different, sometimes very frustrating to hit a perfect shot and not hear any claps. But that’s the way this year has gone. The way the new normal is.
‘Hopefully 2021 will be another story. I can’t wait to play with my people in the crowds, people cheering for me and all those people that I have met on the road over the years.’