Spain has two golfers in the top four after the first round at Augusta National on Thursday. Sergio Garcia had a share of the lead at 6-under par meanwhile, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was tied with two strokes back in fourth position.
With four green jackets already to Spain’s credit, the Mater’s Tournament means a lot to Spain.
Seve Ballesteros was the first Spaniard ever to win the Masters, he claimed his first green jacket in 1980 and a second in 1983. Jose Maria Olazabal then won his in 1994 and 1999.
Since Olazabal’s last victory, he and Garcia have had their chances,with Garcia finishing as runner-up to Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship. Garcia also tied for fourth at the Masters in 2004, and Olazabal tied for third in 2006.
Last Autumn the team captained by Olazabal made a comeback by winning the Ryder cup.
Fernandez-Castano said, ‘We do need a major in Spain. If not the Masters, then one of the other three,’.
‘It’s important for Spanish golf to get a major because, as you know, there’s less and less players now, and we need to motivate the younger generation to take up the game.
‘Unfortunately, it’s been a while now,’ he added. ‘I think we’ve always had the talent, but we still have to finish the job. So hopefully this is the one.’