Estrella Damm puts name to European Tour's Andalucia Masters to 2023
Organisers of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain today unveiled Estrella Damm, the Catalan beer brand, as its new title sponsor in a five-year deal.
Estrella Damm puts its name to the tournament for the first time this year, signalling a €1 million ($1.12 million) increase in the prize pot to €3 million.
However, the figure is some way short of the more than €4 million from a title sponsor that organisers were said to be targeting late year in a bid to elevate the tournament to one of the prestigious events on European Tour's Rolex Series.
Real Club Valderrama in Cadiz said last year that it would offer up €2 million in prize money for the 2018 tournament, thanks to sponsorship deals with Santander Private Banking, Shell and the Andalusian Golf Federation, but to be considered for a spot in the Rolex Series, which debuted with eight existing tour events in 2017, a tournament must offer prize money of at least $7 million, as the European Tour aims to curb the migration of top players to the US PGA Tour.
Spanish star Sergio Garcia (pictured) has confirmed he will defend his title, and will be joined by compatriot Jon Rahm, his 2018 Ryder Cup teammate.
The tournament will be played 27 to 30 June, moving from his traditional October slot in the calendar.
Jorge Villavecchia, managing director of Damm, said: “It is a real honour that one of the European Tour’s most important tournaments bears the name of Estrella Damm, our flagship brand. This will without doubt contribute to the internationalisation of the company, one of the pillars of our strategic plan. It is also a great privilege that the event is being held at the Real Club Valderrama, an unmatchable venue.”
Keith Pelley, chief Executive of the European Tour, added: “We pride ourselves in being associated with some of the best and most prestigious companies across the world and Estrella Damm fits into that category. We thank them for their support of the European Tour in addition to everyone at the Junta de Andalucía and, of course, everyone at Valderrama.
“To have a tournament on the European Tour secured at one of the great and iconic courses in the world, not just in Europe, for the next five years, is terrific.”
The Rolex Series presently consists of six events with prize pots of $7 million each: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA; BMW PGA Championship; the Italian Open; the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open; the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open; and the Turkish Airlines Open.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa offers up $7.5 million, with $8 million to be distributed at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates.