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LIV Golf Valderrama preview: Spaniard to thrive in San Roque

The eighth event of the LIV Golf League 2023 takes place this week with the 48-strong field heading to the prestigious Real Club Valderrama for the three-day tournament.

Harold Varner III claimed the spoils in the last LIV tournament in Washington, the second victory of the season for Torque GC, and he is 18/1 in the Outright Markets to triumph again.

Australian Cameron Smith, who is 16/1 to successfully defend the Claret Jug at next month's Open Championship, leads the betting in Spain at 8/1, just ahead of 10/1 Brooks Koepka.

WhatLIV Golf Valderrama
WhereReal Club Valderrama, San Roque
WhenFriday 30th June - Sunday 2nd July
How to watchLIV Golf Plus app
OddsCameron Smith 8/1, Brooks Koepka 10/1, Dustin Johnson 12/1, Sergio Garcia 12/1, Bryson DeChambeau 16/1

With such a small field heading to Real Club Valderrama, boasting course knowledge could prove invaluable and there are a few players that have that in spades.

The Robert Trent Jones-designed track started off as host of the WGC-American Express Championship from 1999-2000, before the Volvo Masters was then staged here from 2002-2008.

Valderrama hosted the Andalucia Masters from 2010-2011 and then from 2017-2022, while the 2016 Open de Espana was also contested at the Spanish venue.

This is one of the tightest courses in Europe and it demands accuracy from tee to green, while the undulating greens mean a solid short-game is required to have a chance of success.

Only one non-American has managed to triumph in the LIV Golf League this year, that being New Zealand's Danny Lee in Tucson, but that could all be about to change this week.

LIV Golf Valderrama course details

Located in the resort of Sotogrande, San Roque, Real Club Valderrama is one of the most iconic courses in the world and has hosted several big events, including the 1997 Ryder Cup.

Measuring 7,010 yards, this par 71 boasts three par-fives, 11 par-fours and four par-threes. With tree-lined fairways, thick rough and undulating greens, this is not a course for the faint-hearted.

Three to follow

Sergio Garcia

Former world number two Sergio Garcia has described Valderrama as his favourite course and he has certainly enjoyed his visits here, chalking up three wins - in 2011, 2017 and 2018.

Across his 15 appearances in total at the Spanish course, the 43-year-old has never missed a cut and has only once finished outside of the top 10 - that one blip a T34 in 2007.

Along with his three victories, Garcia has finished runner-up three times (2004, 2005 & 2006), third in 2016, tied-fourth in 2008, T5 in 2000, seventh/T7 four times (1999, 2002, 2003, 2019) and T10 in 2010.

It is a truly remarkable record for the 2017 Masters champion and, at 12/1, he should be the one to fear this week, especially given the fact he recorded a positive tied-27th finish on his last outing at the US Open.

Martin Kaymer

Another player who has shown solid form at Valderrama is former world number one Martin Kaymer, who has finished second twice (2008 and 2020) and also tied-sixth in 2016 at this course.

The two-time Major champion is not the force he once used to be and you have to go back to 2014 for the last time he tasted success, but he has shown flashes of form at times and he did sign for a five-under-par second round in Singapore.

Kaymer will be hoping a return to a venue he has performed well at before will spark something inside of him and he could be worth considering at 110/1 in the each-way 1-12 Outright Market.

Harold Varner III

After some middling performances to start off the LIV Golf League 2023, Harold Varner III has really hit his stride over the past couple of months and he went ninth in Singapore and fourth in Tulsa before lifting the title in Washington.

The American has also shown up well in two of the Majors this year, finishing T29 in both the Masters and the US PGA Championship and he could be in the mix once again this week.

Priced at 18/1, the 32-year-old is swinging it well and there is no reason he can't contend for a second LIV title.

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