“Watching the Masters has got me in the mood to get back out and play,” said Ramsay. “It was an incredible win for Danny, especially as he’s only 28. And if you could win one major, the Masters is the one I’d choose. Danny’s not going to have a better week, with the birth of his first child and that win.”
Ramsay admits fellow father Willett’s success will spur him on. “I always had Valderrama pencilled in for my return to action. It is a great golf course with a lot of history,” he said. “There are some incredible holes. I have good memories competing there, particularly in 2011 when I was fighting it out with home favourites Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez for the Andalucia Masters title. Sergio’s Foundation is supporting the event and backing a major Spanish cancer charity this week. He’s someone I have looked up to. I like the way he plays golf. Sergio wears his heart on his sleeve and that’s no bad thing.”
The venue has been a happy hunting ground for world No 16 Garcia, who won the last European Tour event to be hosted there – the 2011 Andalucia Valderrama Masters – and names the course as his favourite in the world.
Garcia, who won this event in 2002, is excited to be hosting the Open de Espana for the first time. He said: “It’s amazing, there’s nothing like it. To be able to be the host of the Spanish Open, one of the oldest opens we have on the European Tour, and also here at Valderrama – it’s so iconic – I love it. It’s really a great experience and I’m sure it will be a great tournament.”
Garcia is one of several top players in a field that includes his Ryder Cup team-mates Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn, in-form Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello and Soren Kjeldsen, who tees up fresh from finishing in a share of seventh at last week’s Masters.