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Valderrama course creator Ortiz-Patino dies aged 82

MADRID (Reuters) - Jaime Ortiz-Patino, a Spain-based golf promoter who created the famous Valderrama course and who was one of the driving forces behind the growth of the sport in the Iberian nation, has died at the age of 82.

"Jaime Ortiz-Patino...passed away this morning in the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella," the Spanish golf federation (RFEG) said in a statement on their website (www.rfeg.es) on Thursday.

Born to Bolivian parents in Paris in June 1930, Ortiz-Patino created the Valderrama course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, in the mid 1980s and was able to lure the Ryder Cup there in 1997, the first time the competition has been held outside the British Isles.

The course was the home of the Volvo Masters between 1988 and 1996 and from 2002 to 2008 and has also hosted the Amex World Championships and the Andalucia Masters.

Known as "Jimmy" to his friends, Ortiz-Patino, whose grandfather was a fabulously wealthy Bolivian tin magnate, amassed a collection of golfing memorabilia that captured the history of the game over 500 years.

It included clubs, balls, prints, books and manuscripts, ceramics, photographs and paintings and was auctioned at Christie's in London last year.

"All the members of the Spanish golf federation would like to express their deepest condolences to family and friends," the RFEG said. "Rest in peace."

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by John Mehaffey)

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