Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjørn return to Valderrama for the Andalucia Masters

Thomas Bjørn has confirmed he will play in the 2020  Estrella Damm NA Andalucía Masters at Valderrama in May
Thomas Bjørn, who captained Europe to victory in the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Paris Golf National, returns to Valderrama in May – where he made his debut against the USA, in 1997.

RYDER Cup heroes Thomas Bjørn and Lee Westwood will return to the venue where they made their Ryder Cup debuts against the United States in 1997 when the European Tour returns to Spain in May.

The Ryder Cup winners have confirmed they will tee it up in the Estrella Damm NA Andalucía Masters – hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation – being held on the Costa del Sol, from April 30-May 3.

The pair made their Ryder Cup bows in the biennial contest between Europe and the United States, at Real Club Valderrama, 23 years ago when the hosts – captained by the late, great Seve Ballesteros – retained the coveted trophy with a 14½-13½ victory.

They contributed 3½ points to the European cause, as Westwood earned two points alongside Nick Faldo in foursomes and fourball matches, while Bjørn earned a half in the Sunday singles against Justin Leonard.

That added to the point he won with Ian Woosnam against Leonard and Brad Faxon.

Westwood is bidding for a European record-equalling 11th Ryder Cup appearance at Whistling Straits later this year.

The 46-year-old is just outside the qualification spots for Padraig Harrington’s side.

But Westwood, who is now based in the North East and will host the Betfred British Masters at Close House in late July, is currently second on the Race to Dubai Rankings after his victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, in January.

“There isn’t much you can say about Valderrama that hasn’t already been said,” said Westwood.

“It’s a fantastic golf course, and 1997 was very special because I made my Ryder Cup debut there and then won the Volvo Masters a few weeks later.

“It is an incredible test of golf, and it’s testament to Robert Trent Jones’ design that it has remained unchanged over the last 30 years.

“It’s a course that we all enjoy playing, and credit goes to Sergio Garcia and his foundation for helping to develop this tournament over the last four years.”

His close friend Bjørn is also looking forward to returning to the venue where his Ryder Cup journey began, culminating in his victorious captaincy two years ago at Le Golf National, Paris.

“Valderrama is an excellent golf course, and a test which we all enjoy returning to,” said the 15-time European Tour winner, who celebrated his 49th birthday earlier this month.

“To make my Ryder Cup debut in a side captained by Seve, in his home country, and at a world-class venue, was incredibly special.”

Lee Westwood has confirmed he will play in the 2020  Estrella Damm NA Andalucía Masters at Valderrama in May
Lee Westwood, who is bidding to appear in his 12th Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, in September, was also in Seve Ballesteros’ side that beat the USA at Valderrama 23 years ago. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Bjørn captained Europe to a record Ryder Cup triumph in Paris, in 2018, to give Harrington the chance to defend the famous trophy in Wisconsin, in September.

Westwood, who hails from Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, and Bjørn will join a host of other European Tour stars at Valderrama, as the Estrella Damm NA Andalucía Masters returns to the famed Spanish venue in April.

Tickets are available, starting from €7 juniors and €15 for adults. Season tickets are available for the full week (€30 for juniors and €75 for adults), as well as weekend-only tickets (€15 and €40).

Click here to purchase tickets.

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