The first day of the ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid got underway on Thursday with all eyes on Jon Rahm, but the morning session provided an unexpected name towards the top of the leaderboard as he made his bow on the DP World Tour.
Catalonian player Víctor García Broto could not have had a better start to his first elite tournament than the marvellous 67 (-5) he signed for. He would be leading the tournament were it not for a mysterious double-bogey on the 17th. “One bad swing and I pushed it, but when I got there, there was no sign of it. Very strange, but I had to go back to the tee and hit another”.
A player who normally plies his trade on the Alps Tour and is therefore not used to playing in front of so many fans, came through the test with flying colours: “It was a great day, really pleasant. I was a bit nervous at first, but when I realised that things were going well, I relaxed”.
Trained by ex-professional golfer Alejandro Larrazábal and with another pro on his bag this week in Eduardo De la Riva, Víctor seems to have absorbed their experience and already looks like just another player on the DP World Tour, which is exactly what he aspires to be: “I’m playing for that, my dream is to be a regular player on the European circuit and it’s what motivates me to work and improve. This is a fantastic opportunity to test myself against the best, and tomorrow I’ll stick to the same plan”.
Another Spaniard who stood out on Thursday morning was Santiago Tarrío, whose love affair with Club de Campo Villa de Madrid continues. It is a course on which, including today’s, he has played nine rounds, and all of them have been 70 or better. Today’s was a 68 (-3): “I don’t want to jinx it, but it really is a course that I like. I think it suits my game well because you have to hit a lot of fairways and the greens are very undulating. This year, I think it’s more demanding, with tougher rough and some longer holes, so it’s a very good test of golf”.
The form he showed in the final round of his previous event, the Dunhill Links, has continued. Despite the Monday finish, the Galician shot a superb 64 at St. Andrews: “it was an exhausting week, also I woke up with a bad back, but we were able to hide it with medication and I played great having barely warmed up. Here, my back is not 100% but I’ve had another great day, hitting 16 greens and only missing two shots, which cost me a bogey on the easiest hole”.
Three other Spaniards finished under par after their first 18 holes this morning: Adrián Otaegui (-2), Rafa Cabrera and Adri Arnaus (-1).