Martín Benavides and his determination to return to the elite to recover his children: "They tortured me with false accusations"

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When the ball disappeared into the 18th hole, the fist of Pablo It was closed for the first time in the entire round of a PGA tournament held in Valladolid. About thirty people, most of them his own classmates, applauded excitedly. It was impossible not to do it if you know the history of Pablo Martin Benavides (Málaga, 1986), the golfer called to be the Tiger Woods European, who descended into hell and was resurrected a few days ago on the banks of the Pisuerga.

Paul was one of many golf prodigies. He signed for Oklahoma State and it was a reference in category amateur. In 2007 it became the first amateur in history to win a European Tour tournament. His feat monopolized the front pages of all the newspapers, knowing now the intra-history of that triumph is, to say the least, shocking. “My swing “I was exhausted by some changes I made at university, I wasn’t getting results and I was desperate,” he says. So, bored, looking for a solution on the practice field, he started joking with his caddie imitating the movement of other players. “I won that tournament with him swing of Sergio Garcia“, remember.

The victory brought him million-dollar contracts with IMG y Nikewho saw in Paul the new version of Tiger Woods in Europe. Pablo would win two more tournaments in the old continent, he would play majors and would rub shoulders with golf’s elite until an ill-fated marriage punctuated his career. During a tournament he fell in love with a Swedish girl and with whom he later had two children. After an alleged infidelity, the relationship turned into hell that ended with complaints and even an extradition order, which put golfer in jail for 10 weeks.

This process, which lasted six years, ruined Pablo Martín, both financially and psychologically. However, the greatest torture for the man from Malaga is not knowing anything about his children in all this time. “They have been kidnapped, I have spent a few years trying to see them, they have tortured me with false accusations and I have lost them,” he explains. The harshness of the story is moving. For months, a depression had Pablo bedridden, until in September he decided to take a step in his life as hard as it was necessary to find a way out. “I just gave up, I lost everything, the only option I have left is golf, which is the only thing I know how to do,” she says.

Pablo acknowledges that he is still in the recovery process: “At least I got out of bed and started to feel alive, my feeling is that I had a hole from head to toe.” He started training just two weeks ago after six years without touching a golf club. A few days ago he played the previews of Spanish Opena tournament in which he did not qualify after signing two cards of 73 strokes.

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