Play suspended at weather-affected Valderrama Masters

Arnold Nichols
October 24, 2018

"To be able to win three times here in Valderrama is a dream come true", said the victor.

Following another one hour delay on Sunday morning, the 2017 Masters Tournament victor extended his lead to five strokes when he followed up three opening pars with his first birdie of the day at the fourth, courtesy of a brilliant 20-foot putt.

Lowry did manage to birdie the last for a 66 to earn the clubhouse lead on eight under, but Garcia had plenty in hand and became the first player since Ernie Els in 2004 to win the same European Tour title three times in a row.

Tournament officials reduced the event to 54 holes on Saturday after bad weather had forced several delays at the tournament hosted by Garcia, who won the event previous year and in 2011. For me to be able to shoot three rounds under par with the positions we played all week, all the rain we had, and all the stop and going means a lot.

He had three birdies and a bogey when play resumed on Monday, enough to add to his Valderrama titles in 2011 and 2017. "I'm very proud of that and really excited about the week".

Leader - and host - Garcia only managed to play seven holes before organisers halted the action, the Spaniard having picked up a shot at the fourth before immediately handing it back at the next hole.

Marc Warren, Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are all at four under, six off the pace, while Lee Westwood's three-under 68 left him in a tie for sixth with Shane Lowry after round two.

With the tournament already reduced to 54 holes after repeated weather delays, Garcia and the rest of the field had to get off the 1997 Ryder Cup venue because of the threat of lightning.

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