• Sullivan battling with ‘brutal’ Valderrama

    Andy Sullivan
    Andy Sullivan

    Andy Sullivan was left shocked by the testing conditions of the Real Club Valderrama after a difficult opening round at the Andalucia Masters on Thursday.

    The first day saw only five players break par as a gusty wind around the course made life difficult for players out in the field, while quick and firm greens didn’t make things any easier.

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    The Englishman has been in excellent form on the European Tour’s return to action – comprehensively winning the English Championship at Hanbury Manor last month.

    Thursday’s opening round, though, took a slight toll on Sullivan, who at the halfway-mark of his round said: ‘For anyone at home that wants to see a big leveller for a Tour pro, and see a moan and struggle, tune in today because it is brutal.

    ‘It’s tough enough to hit fairways and greens around here in the flat calm and when there’s a 20mph gusting wind it is just playing havoc out here and you have to sort of laugh, because if you didn’t laugh you’d break down and cry, it’s that hard.’

    The 34-year-old concluded with a 2-over-par 73, which saw him make only one birdie over his opening 18 holes.

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    ‘Obviously the greens are quite quick, and the wind is having so much affect on them. I think if anyone gets out of here in around level par you’re a happy man today, very happy.’

    Connor Syme, Jorge Campillo, Guido Migliozzi and John Catlin finished as the leaders at the end of the opening round with respective rounds of 2-under-par 69.

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