Santiago Tarrio. © Golffile | Thos Caffrey
That Santi Tarrio and Alfredo Garcia Heredia they are going to play next season on the European Tour is a mathematical and irrefutable reality. Galician and Asturian have the card guaranteed by the top 20 of the ranking of the Challenge Tour. Right now they occupy the first and third places of the Road to Mallorca and there is no way to get out of those 20 best, so the sooner things are adapting to what is going to be their new life much better. This is why the two are playing this week on Dutch Open of the European Tour. It is a kind of test bed with zero pressure and infinite illusion.
This does not mean that they are going on vacation to Bernardus Golf, far from it. In fact, the two have already given more than one serious warning this year on the European Tour. Santi, without going any further, has signed a third in the Hero Open, leaving Sunday with victory options, and a fifteenth in ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Alfredo played the three tournaments in the Canary Islands and signed a valuable twelfth place in a week where he was ahead for many holes.
If we add to these precedents that they arrive at a fantastic moment, it will be inevitable to be very aware of what they can do this week. Tarrio arrives after being second in the Challenge Tour of Germany last Sunday, where the Malaga player won Angel Hidalgo, while Alfredo was fourth. What’s more, the two have released the best world ranking of their careers this Monday. Santi has made it into the top 100 for the first time in his life, climbing to 90th, while Alfredo is 179th.
The Navy is large and powerful in the Netherlands. We have ten players. One of the proper names is Alejandro Cañizares. The golfer from Manilva returns to tournaments after being isolated by Covid 19 in Switzerland during the Omega European Masters. It’s the reason we didn’t see it in Italy. He is back, although he assures that he is somewhat far from his best physical tone. Yes, the Covid continues to take its toll. In addition, they are Jorge Campillo, Gonzalo Fernández Castaño, Sebastián García Rodríguez, Pep Angles, Eduardo de la Riva, Emilio Cuartero and Carlos Pigem. All of them, along with Cañi, are fighting to save the European Tour card with the exception of Jorge Campillo, secured as champion. That is to say, they need a good result to improve their situation and try to arrive with the most advanced duties in the final sprint.
The tournament features four world top 100s. The two most prominent players are Branden Grace and Thomas Detry. Tarrio himself and Justin Harding are the other world top 100. Rory Sabbatini also returns to compete on the European Tour and the Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.