Doha - Spaniard Ignacio Garrido on Wednesday became a member of an exclusive club of professionals who have played 500 European Tour events.
The 40-year-old, who was part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team in Spain in 1997, is just the 23rd player in history to reach the milestone of 500 or more appearances on The European Tour.
"I didn't know about my 500th appearance until I got here, but it's nice to know that I've been around so long - let's hope it's not the last 500 and there are many more," said Garrido, after hitting a 71 on the opening day of the Qatar Masters.
"I guess it's not easy to reach that many tournaments and it's nice to get there. But the main thing is not only to play the tournaments, but to stay competitive and keep having a chance to win some of them at some point."
Garrido made his first appearance on the Tour as an amateur at the 1990 Spanish Open before joining the paid ranks at the 1993 Iberia Open.
Garrido, whose greatest individual win came at the 2003 PGA Championship at Wentworth, regards the Ryder Cup triumph as the highlight of his career.
"To be part of that Ryder Cup team in Spain was probably the highlight of my career," he said.
"It's not only the victories, though. There are a lot of moments that you wouldn't change for anything else. I'm lucky to have been living through those moments in my career."
Garrido becomes the fourth Spanish player to reach 500 official European Tour appearances after Miguel Angel Jimenez (598), Santiago Luna (594) and Miguel Angel Martin (545).