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Garcia completes first year as a professional

Sergio Garcia will this week complete his first year as a full professional when he returns to his homeland to compete in the Peugeot Spanish Open at PGA Golf de Catalunya, Girona.

Garcia is one of 13 players who competed in the inaugural Seve Ballesteros Trophy at Sunningdale two weeks ago and is hoping to improve on the 25th spot he finished in his debut professional tournament in Barcelona last year.

The two captains from the hugely successful Ryder Cup style tournament between Britain and Ireland and Europe, Colin Montgomerie and Seve Ballesteros, will renew their rivalry in the more familiar stroke play format.

The 1998 Spanish Open champion, Dane Thomas Bjorn, will be a major contender having won the Sarazen World Open on the same course last season.

Defending champion Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden will be hoping to repeat his four-stroke win but faces competition from previous winners Eamonn Darcy, Eduardo Romero, Rodger Davis, Andrew Sherborne, Joakim Haeggman and seasonal debutantes Mark James and Sam Torrance.

Located near Spainís Costa Brave, the Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo designed PGA Golf de Catalunya has a spectacular backdrop to its 7,200 yards, par 72 course. Set on undulating ground, hanging pine and cork trees line the fairways.

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