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Tour News (posted 15th October 1998)

Youngsters poised to spring a surprise

By John Oakley, PA Sport,

Bordeaux, France -  Spaniard Sergio Garcia and South African Trevor Immelman, who are both 18, will be attempting to become the first amateurs to win a European tour event at Bordeaux this week.

The youngsters are playing together in the Novotel Perrier Pairs event at the Medoc Golf Club and they are not without hope in
this unique tournament.

The event begins today with a four-ball, has a foursomes tomorrow and ends on Sunday with both players in each team playing a singles round.

Garcia, who does not intend to turn professional until after the US Masters next April, has such potential that Seve Ballesteros
says he might even be good enough to play his way into next year's European Ryder Cup team.

This is Garcia's eighth European tour event this year and he contents himself with the modest assertion: "I think we shall
do well this week."

Immelman, who believes that Garcia could become another Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, says of his partner: "He is so long that every course is like a par 68 to him. All the par fives are a drive and an iron. He's definitely going to become a household
name in golf."

Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, who forged the greatest yder Cup partnership in history and also won the pairs tournament in 1995, are not playing together this year.

Ballesteros is paired with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Olazabal with another Spaniard, Domingo Hospital, but there is no mystery.

Jimenez, who was vice captain at the last Ryder Cup match, asked Ballesteros at Valderrama if he could play with him and Olazabal had no objection.