Spaniard Adrian Otageui can defend the trophy
Dane Rasmus Hojgaard might be close to his best form
Back to Andalucia, home to Granada, Sevilla and the Costa del Sol, birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Antontio Banderas and, rather more surprisingly, Millie Bobby Brown.
Also something akin to the heartbeat of Spanish golf at tour level.
It was here that the Ryder Cup was hosted by Valderrama, where Europe retained the Solheim Cup last month, where DP World and LET events have taken place, in one form or another, every year for decades.
This week's Estrella Damm NA Andalucia Masters is a case in point.
Officially it was first held in 2010 but it would be fair to say the event is somewhat related to the old Volvo Masters that once ended every European Tour season.
Both versions were held at Valderrama but when that layout turned to LIV this summer, this event needed a new home and has moved up the road to Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.
Between 1998 and 2011 the venue co-hosted European Tour Qualifying School alongside San Roque.
More recently it played host to the NH Collection Open, a tournament whose winner - the Italian Marco Crespi - provides few clues because he did very little at this level.
Maybe a few others help though. The three halfway co-leaders were Bradley Dredge, Dave Horsey and Marc Warren, while Jordi Garcia Pinto and Richie Ramsay finished tied for second.
Dredge has won at Santo da Serra and been second at Adare Manor, Valderrama and Roman Road, Horsey has a second at Royal Park, Warren won at Geneve, Garcia Pinto landed top threes at Santo da Serra and Geneve, Ramsay has a top three at Valderrama.
All of those tracks were also designed by RTJ Sr.
Sotogrande will play as a par 72 at 7,099 yards and it's worth recalling that golf in this part of the world can be a curious business.
In fact, it occurred to me taking the journey from Malaga to Marbella for the Solheim Cup that the land is the exact opposite of linksland because while travelling along the seaside of Scotland and Ireland you see multiple examples of the ideal terrain for golf courses, in this part of Spain you just look upon all sorts of miracles of determination.
Golf courses have been shoehorned into craggy dry gorges that very few would ever have considered worthy of grass let alone grass of the manicured kind.
Sotogrande is typical in that sense because it is undulating but it is not as quirky as many other courses in the region; RTJ Sr. has done a good job of avoiding some of the gimmicks often used to suddenly veer 200 metres up or down.
Bunkering and water hazards feature, as do raised putting surfaces. The fairways appear wide but often have the habit of catching out those who sloppily assume that grants them free reign with the driver.
There's a lot to like about the Swede Sebastian Soderberg this week.
First up, he has some interesting form on Trent Jones Sr. layouts.
Back in 2015, he was fourth at Santo da Serra in the Madeira Islands Open, an early foray into the top five on the DP World Tour.
He was also second at Valderrama in this tournament back in 2021.
That result takes us into the second factor - he's played well in Spain down the years.
He was a winner on the Lakes Course at the Infinitum Resort on the third tier Nordic League in 2018 and a week after that second at Valderrama he was second in Mallorca.
He's been a winner at this level, defeating Rory McIlroy among others in a play-off at the 2019 European Masters.
Since then he's had four runner-up finishes, including that pair mentioned above, and this week is a good opportunity for him to win again.
He arrives fresh off making nine straight cuts including up against elite PGA Tour opposition at the Scottish Open and then against an opposite field when tenth at the Barracuda Championship.
He was also fifth at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship two starts ago with a first round 64 and third round 62
The next two options are shorter in the betting but that reflects that Soderberg strikes me as rather more over-priced.
First up in those nearer the head of the market is the defending champion Adrian Otaegui.
He's rare among the field in having competitive experience of the course and, what's more, it is high quality too - he was sixth here on his rookie campaign of 2014.
It was not his first decent effort on an RTJ Sr. layout either because he's been second at Geneve the year before and, of course, he has rubber-stamped that with victory at Valderrama last year.
He's in solid form, making the cut in his last eight starts and in 10 of his last 11.
I also wonder if the Dane Rasmus Hojgaard is not nearer his best form than it first appears in his form lines.
In the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth he carded two 67s in the middle rounds as he finished T45th.
He was then fourth in the Open de France which was not a bad effort at all a year on from a tough experience when he made a mess of a lead there.
After experiencing the Ryder Cup from inside the ropes he was then T25th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship shooting 71-69-66.
He was fifth at Valderrama last year and has it in him to improve on that this week.
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