The two amateurs with invites to play the Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid are now at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid and have already had a chance to play the course, an experience that led them to the realisation that this will be the best week of their still fledgling careers.
The Catalonians David Puig and Joel Moscatel, a last minute addition after the withdrawal of Eugenio López-Chacarra, have been friends for many years and are delighted to be able to enjoy the experience together, which is why they paired up for their practice round on Monday.
It will be 19-year-old Puig’s first outing among professionals, as he has only ever played in amateur tournaments. Although he is on the team at Arizona State, one of the best universities in the world and alma mater of Jon Rahm, he is well aware that this is a big step up, and that his debut this week will be akin to playing in the premier division before his first outing in league one .
It is a very different story for Moscatel (23 years of age), who has been competing for some time on the Alps Tour, the third-tier professional tour in Europe, where he has already qualified for the finale with two tournaments to spare. In fact, his invitation to play at the Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid means Joel will have to turn professional a week later than hoped, as he was planning to take the leap at an Alps Tour event in Italy this week, where he had to give up his place to come to the Spanish capital. “When I heard, I thought it was a joke, but as soon as I realised it wasn’t I came straight here, even though I lost my flight to Rome. It’s a unique opportunity and also playing an Open de España in Madrid is more special than anywhere else,” said Moscatel.
Both players have a special relationship with Madrid as two months ago, Joel Moscatel was crowned champion of the Madrid Amateur, dethroning Puig, who won the event in 2019.
As for their knowledge of Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Moscatel had previously only played two 18 rounds here in the run up to the Mayakoba tournament last December, while Puig enjoyed his first glimpses of the Arana layout today. After his round, he commented on what a great course the CCVM is:
“I thought it was fantastic, it’s not straight forward and, above all, the start is very tough on the first three holes. You have to be on your game to find the greens and the right tier. The more I think about Jon Rahm’s -22, the more absurd it seems.”
Puig will have the chance to learn from Jon Rahm himself on Tuesday, when they will share a practice round thanks to their ties to Universidad de Arizona State. They have already met a few times. “It’ll be good for me to see his strategy for this course, after all he’s a player who, apart from being the best in the world, has won here, and sharing a practice round with him will definitely help me this week,” offered Puig.
These two great friends, who have already experienced a great week together at the European Amateur, where Puig finished third and Moscatel fourth, are raring to go at this Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid, where they will be hoping to at least repeat that result.