What a great double 50th anniversary tribute it was at the start of the inaugural Catalunya Championship at the famed PGA Catalunya Resort course at Girona in Spain.
This year, as we have been writing, is the 50th anniversary of the DP World Tour while this year also marks half-a-century since legendary Spaniard Antonio Garrido won the 1972 Spanish Open, with the now 74-year-old hitting the ceremonial tee shot on Thursday. And it was a pretty decent tee shot as those watching on recognised.
Bringing back the memories ?
Antonio Garrido won the first Tour event 50 years ago. Today, he returned to Girona to hit a ceremonial tee shot.#50YearsOnTour | #CatalunyaChampionship pic.twitter.com/LrJl0VxwQu
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) April 28, 2022
Garrido is the father of Ignacio Garrido and his ’72 Spanish Open success was the first of five European Tour victories while he won 27 events in both his pro and over-50 years career, including 11 other titles on home Spanish soil.
Antonio also played in the 1979 Ryder Cup, an accomplishment managed by his son, who played in the winning 1997 European Team.
And after hitting the ceremonial first tee shot, he spoke to the DP World Tour’s Clare Bodel, while clutching the Spanish Open trophy he was handed all of 50-years ago.
“I feel less nervous now than I was before teeing off,” Antonio said of the experience of teeing-off via a translator
“When I was competing all those years ago, not for a moment would I have been thinking I would be standing here today.”
And in being asked about his legacy to Spanish golf Antonio said: “There is no doubt about it as we are at the same level as always. In Spain there has always been players at a very high level and at any moment we can win.”
However, Antonio had to be asked his memories of 50 years ago in breaking through to win on the European Tour for the first time.
“The memories are so different that they cannot be explained. Nothing is the same, only one thing, the game itself. The rest cannot be explained. I can’t say if it was worse or better than now; I can only say that everything has fortunately gotten better and that nothing is the same,” he said
“It was very exciting because the play-off was with a friend, Valentin Barrios, it was a 3 holes play-off… at the end one had to win, and that was me.”
Well done, Antonio and well done at DP World Tour.
- Full scoring HERE
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