Golf News 2003
Golf News in 2003 for Costa del Sol and Andalucia. Keep up to date with the news highlights from the world of golf on the Costa del Sol and Andalucia, Spain.
The Volvo Masters Andalucia 2003
The Volvo Masters Andalucia 2003 was a remarkable four day event not just for the golf, but for the changeable November weather at Valderrama, Sotogrande..
The first round saw Anders Hanson from Denmark first to tee off on his own with a marker and lead the field with a six under par bogey free when he handed in his score card after only two and a half hours golf saying "I think it is a great course. This morning you go out there and play and it's just as pure as anything in the world. By the end of the round Frederik Jacobson was leader with eight under par.
The second day the weather changed and play was delayed and then cancelled as 50km winds and 50mm of rain drenched the course. "I have seen rain like this and wind like this but never the two together" stated Colin Montgomerie who must have seen a lot of wind and rain in his time. The tournament director David Garland predicted the rain would stop at 4pm and it did, he elected to go for two rounds on the moderately gusty, sunny and colder third day in threes and half the field starting on the 1st and the other half on the tenth. By the end of the third round Frederik Jacobson the Swede and local hero Carlos Rodiles from Malaga were level ten under par. John Bickerton enjoyed a hole in one at the 6th using his eight iron form 163yds. On the final day the wind had dropped the sun shone and it was a perfect Sunday. The word was out that the outsider Rodiles was in with a chance and all the golfers from Malaga turned out to support him. The final round three-ball two-tee configuration actually made the tournament a better spectator experience.
It was a two-horse race with Rodiles and Jacobson battling it out neck and neck and changing the lead several times. At they reached the infamous 17th Jacobson was 13 under par with Rodiles only one shot behind. It was to change Jacobson landed on the green and just like Tiger Woods (twice) in the World Championships watched in dismay as his ball landed perfectly on the green and then rolled back into the water. The spectators began to cheer and Rodiles had to signal them to maintain decorum. Jacobson double bogied and Rodiles birdied. Two shots ahead into the 18th Rodiles must have thought he was aboutto be the first Spaniard to win the Volvo Masters Andalucia. They drew and on sudden death play off of the 18th again it look bad for Jacobson when his tee shot hit a tree and landed right behind it. He fought back and they drew again. Another 18th hole could not to decide it. On to the 10th Jacobson teed off and the ball rolled off the fairway into the water but stopped on the very edge. He pulled it back and it was on the 18th yet again. This time the luck went the other way and Rodiles was in the trees. Unable to get to the green he quickly chipped to the fairway and ended up on the green further away from the hole and a shot down. Jacobson was the Volvo Masters Andalucia 2003 champion and the first Swede to win three official events in the same season and collect a cheque for 583.330 Euros. He said afterwards, "A good battle with Carlos this week, it has been quite unbelievable the way this story has been going a times, up and down."
Pair Up For A Super Day Out
Strokesaver, the number one name in course guides for visiting golfers, is to co-sponsor an exciting pairs tournament for amateur golfers at Almenara on December 6. The other principal sponsor will be the NH Hotel group, owners of the Almenara hotel, spa and golf courses.
The two companies have established a close working relationship since Strokesaver were asked to produce the distance guide for the three 9-hole loops attached to the hotel and designed by Dave Thomas. Now that thousands of Strokesavers have been sold at the golf shop and caddie master's office, it seemed an opportune time to extend ties through the sponsorship of a tournament. Other golfing companies of renown, namely Hippo, FootJoy and Hill Billy, quickly agreed to contribute to the tournament's success by donating some fabulous prizes for the better-ball competition. Two Hippo 420-s Giant Drivers, as used by John Daly, are on offer along with Hippo carry bags and the best-selling Aqualite shoes from FootJoy.
A Hill Billy electric trolley is the prize for the longest drive - after all, the winner is likely to be quite happy with the driver being used!
All competitors will be entered into a post-tournament raffle for a weekend break for two at a member hotel in the NH chain, as well as weekend bags, and a host of smaller prizes. However, everyone who plays is bound to be a winner as the price of €100 per pair with buggy included is exceptional for such a quality course. As December 6 coincides with a holiday weekend in Spain, places are bound to fill up fast. Find a partner, then make your reservation by ringing Reyes Macias on 956 582 027.
"When I was young, seemed that golf was so logical..."
For a number of years, golf course operators have been aware of the benefits of electronic distance information but, for a variety of reasons, have been reluctant to adopt existing buggy-based Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
GPS is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the US Department of Defense. The system was made available for free civilian use in the 1980s and has been adapted for a variety of uses including distance measurement on golf courses.
In November 2002, a company called GolfLogix Europe launched xCaddie a handheld GPS that overcomes previous hurdles to complete golf acceptance, such as blind spots.
The company was founded by Ben Porter and Phil Lewin, both PGA professionals each with over 10 years' experience of the European golf market.
The prohibition of driving buggies up to tee markers was also a problem for previous products on the market but xCaddie uses low-cost, easy to use technology in detachable handsets that are automatically re-charged by the buggy's own battery.
GolfLogix has installed 4 systems to date at clubs on the Costa del Sol, namely: La Cala Resort, Marbella G&CC, El Paraiso, Valderrama and San Roque.
A number of high-profile clubs in Portugal have also adopted the system, such as Vale do Lobo, Carvoeiro and Quinta do Lago.
"Because we restrict our buggies to the cart paths, a fixed buggy-based GPS system would not work as distances are liable to be inaccurate. In addition we believe the terrain at La Cala would result in significant problems for existing systems using a radio link to the clubhouse", says Alan Saunders, the resort's Director of Golf.
"The portability of the xCaddie handsets and the simplicity of the technology design has now allowed us to introduce a reliable and accurate system to its visitors and members", he added.
GolfLogix Europe installs systems into courses at no cost and simply charge a fee each time the individual Xcaddie handsets are used.
Premiere Golf Resort Conference
The 1st Premiere Golf European Resort Conference forms part of the Premiere Golf trade event, which takes place in Marbella the week after the Volvo Masters Andalucia (Nov. 4 & 5). The conference will be opened by 3-times European Ryder Cup Team captain, Bernard Gallacher OBE, and features an exceptional line-up of speakers covering a diversity of topics from financial benchmarking to golf academies and from agronomy to food and beverage opportunities and merchandising. How the latest Internet technology can be harnessed to improve golf course operations is another topic on the agenda.
Speakers include Peter Draper, Marketing Director of Manchester United Football Club, Stephen Proctor of Sports Marketing Surveys, Niall Flanagan of St.Andrews Links Trust, Jeremy Slessor of European Golf Course Design, Colin Hegarty from the Golf Reserach Group and Carl Mistretta of Greg Norman Golf Course Design.
Delegates will have full access to other activities within the Premiere Golf show including the trade exhibition, Golf Range Owners and Operators Conference and the Junior Golf Forum as well as practical demonstrations of the latest Callaway equipment.
Sixty of the best
A bigger prize-fund will be shared among fewer players when the Volvo Masters Andalucia visits Valderrama for the 10th time from October 30 to November 2 but can Europe's top golfers knock Ernie Els from the top of the Order of Merit?
The prize fund awaiting the fortunate sixty European Tour players who qualify for the Volvo Masters Andalucia 2003 is the largest in the sixteen-year history of the event. Volvo, along with the co-sponsors from the Andalusian Government, will sign cheques to the value of €3,500,000 to further distinguish their tournament and confirm it among the three most important events on the European Tour calendar.
The increase in prize money - in 2002 the fund reached 3,136,700 - places the Volvo Masters Andalucia on a par with the Volvo PGA Championship, which is second only to The Open Championship in terms of prize money and prestige. The 2003 champion will collect a cheque for €583,330, the same amount as won by Ignacio Garrido at Wentworth in May and is more than the total prize money offered when the Volvo Masters was first played at Valderrama in 1988.
The €363,300 increase in the prize money coincides with the new classification criteria for participation that are to be applied for the first time in 2003. From this year, only those players occupying positions 1 to 60 in the Volvo Order of Merit will receive an invitation to spend a few autumn days in the august surroundings of Valderrama. With no half-way cut, the player who finishes in last place is guaranteed €10,850; 30th position is rewarded with €32,550 and 10th place is worth €77,000. However, the new rules of participation state that only the top 60 on the Order of Merit after the Telefonica Madrid Open can play. If anyone in the top 60 is injured, or chooses not to play, their place will not be filled by the player who finishes 61st, nor by any past champion, nor by any sponsor's invite. The ruling is intended to ensure only the elite, whose current form justifies an invitation to the exclusive event, compete, however, it does raise speculations that the Volvo Order of Merit 2003 may be won by default. Ernie Els has occupied pole position for the majority of the season but does not habitually include the end-of-season Masters in his itinerary due to his principal commitment to the PGA Tour. Darren Clarke has, at the time of writing, reduced Els' lead to an amount less than the winner will receive at Valderrama and is likely to reduce the difference further before qualification closes in Madrid a week prior to Volvo Masters Andalucia. Whether this acts as an incentive for Els to compete at Valderrama for the first time in many years remains to be seen.
Certainly, the decision to strictly limit participation will add emotion to the end of season tournaments as players strive to finish amongst the elite top 60. For a long time, it appeared that Garrido's PGA Championship win would make him the only Spaniard in the field but local interest was enhanced when Miguel Angel Jimenez and Carlos Rodiles finished near the top of the leaderboard at the Linde German Masters to move them well into the qualifying positions. However, Sergio Garcia might well miss out as he lies in 66th position and is unlikely to play enough events in the remaining weeks to remain where he is - let alone move up the board.
Another who may not make the pre-tournament cut is defending champion Bernhard Langer, currently 85th after only having played 12 European Tour events this year. If that were the case, it would fall upon Colin Montgomerie, the other defending champion, to add excitement to the event as he has done on numerous occasions during his march to 7 successive OM titles. Owing to the fading light on the last glorious autumn day of 2002, Montgomerie and Langer both survived the sudden-death finish and agreed to share the title (and not insignificant prize money) . From not having a winner repeat his victory, the Volvo Masters Andalucia suddenly had two. What kind of surprises this marvellous event throws up in 2003 is something that will be revealed over the immaculate Valderrama course.
Santana Steps Forward
CG Santana, at the center of the new golf valley in Mijas, has taken a major step towards its opening with the appointment of Salvador Jaime Gallardo to the position of Director of Golf.
Salvador was reluctantly tempted from the office at Mijas Golf International by the offer of a promotion and is grateful for the time spent at Mijas Golf for the exciting new challenge it has opened up for him. " You will never hear me say a bad word about Mijas. It is run by a team of excellent professionals and I spent many happy years there," said the Santana Director when SunGolf caught up with him in his new office.
CG Santana occupies a privileged location, on flat land between two rivers that is surrounded by thousands of mature trees and the remains of the former avocado plantation. It is, literally, adjacent to La Cala Resort and only a par 5 away from Mijas Golf International. " I think it is great to have two well-established resorts so close, " observes the affable Salva. " And, I don't view them as competition. On the contrary, it is an advantage that will help attract people to play Santana. The only competition is that we must match - and improve upon - the quality of service offered to golfers - and I have plenty of ideas how Santana can do that!"
Alcaidesa Looking Ahead
The so-called 'Golden Triangle of Golf' encompassing around Sotogrande is extending its hypotenuse! Sotogrande was the first point of the triangle to be pushed from within by the new courses at Almenara; San Roque followed with news of its second course by Perry Dye and Seve Ballesteros. Now it is the turn of Alcaidesa to launch a second course, to be designed by Dave Thomas.
The leading course architect, who is familiar with the local terrain thanks to his work at San Roque, Almenara and La Cañada, was present as Director-General Manuel Moyano informed gathered journalists about the estates ambitious plans for the near future. Work will begin simultaneously in June on the new 18-holes as well as a new clubhouse, which will serve both courses. The existing cozy clubhouse, built in 1991, is to be replaced by an impressive new building by Marcos Saenz who is responsible for the clubhouses at Los Naranjos and Islantilla. The spot chosen for the new building is beside the present 8th hole meaning it will enjoy stunning views of the coastline to Estepona, the Rock of Gibraltar and the north of Africa. Señor Moyano also announced that Alcaidesa's 36-holes will be used by guests of four hotels that are to be built within the 760 hectares of land that is owned by Alcaidesa.
La Reserva - Is Sotogrande saving the best until last?
American architect Cabell Robinson talks about the opening of his latest design - La Reserva de Sotogrande.
"When I first arrived in Malaga, more than 30 years ago, 'Sotogrande' was already in play and the talk of many golf enthusiasts around Europe. Not only was it the first course in Europe designed by the famous American Robert Trent Jones, but it was also the first course here to demonstrate the attributes of target golf, a philosophy of design, which, with few exceptions, still dominates course architecture today. Sotogrande was also the first European course to boast an automatic tee-to-green irrigation system. This assured good playing conditions-and optimal appearance -all year round. Technically speaking, it made target golf possible in a semi arid climate.
A few years later we designed a second course at Sotogrande, which at the time was known as Las Aves and now Valderrama. The point of these brief historical remarks is that, from the outset, the principal driving force behind Sotogrande and its development into one of Spain's- and Europe's- most prestigious resort communities has been its golf courses. I firmly believe that this late addition to the stable- La Reserva -will continue, and strengthen, this trend.
The new course is situated in two valleys, which join in the form of the letter "Y". Parts of these steep-sided valleys were quite deep, so it was deemed essential to fill them to an elevation which allowed for the creation of golf holes which would be both playable and maintainable. In some areas this required increasing the area originally allocated for the course. Although such changes are generally anathema to developers, Sotogrande readily acceded, recognizing the ultimate importance of a quality golf course.
The golf course at La Reserva has a masculinity about it in that it is big and bold. The shaping and features are large scale yet soft and harmonious. Nothing jumps out to jar your senses when viewing the course from any angle. Rather one has the feeling of a course quietly at repose with its surrounding landscape.
From the tips, the course is quite long, measuring just over 6700 meters. Such an overall length was desirable in order for Sotogrande to have the option of hosting major international championships in the future. More important than the "Darth Vader" lengths of each hole is the playability of the course for ordinary mortals. For these reasons we have created two sets of men's tees as well as two sets of ladies' tees. The resulting course lengths from the different tee markers should enable all classes of golfers to enjoy their round.
A wall-to-wall computerized irrigation system provides water to the 419 Bermuda grass fairways. I am a firm believer that normal players should not stand on a tee fearful that a slightly miss-hit drive will lead to disaster. The fairways of La Reserva are therefore amply wide. It should be noted, however, that the correct positioning of one's drive will invariably provide advantages vis-à-vis the following approach shot. Knowing these preferred spots -and being able to reach them- will provide the challenge for the low handicapper.
Water hazards are a feature of the course, but given the possibilities which existed, the use of water has been limi, as I believe it is frequently overused in modern courses. At La Reserva water is found on only 5 holes: two par 3s, two par 4s and one par 5. In only one instance it is a frontal hazard requiring a forced carry over a drainage channel.
On the remaining holes it is used as a lateral hazard where it defends certain pin placements from direct attacks while allowing more conservative approaches, which take the hazard out of play.
Greens are really the "heart" of a course and together with the basic routing of the holes they are the fundamental elements of a great golf course. Technically speaking, the greens have been built to true USGA standards - a rarity in Spain. More importantly, from a design standpoint, they - and the rest of the course as well - were sculpted by a "master shaper" from the UK, Tom Lamb. The putting surfaces are relatively large in size to provide bigger targets for the average player. The thrill of reaching a green in regulation is often more memorable than the three putt which sometimes ensues. Large surfaces also allow for more movement and La Reserva's greens are subtly contoured
to create a variety of pin positions.
For me personally it has been a pleasure and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Robert Trent Jones, my employer of 20 years, in the design of the La Reserva course. Sotogrande, S.A. has provided me with the ways and means to realize a course on a par with those which preceded it. I would like to think that Mr. Jones would be proud of his student's efforts, and I am confident that La Reserva, along with Mr. Jones' earlier designs, will be considered one of Europe's finest courses.
Although 9 holes opened for play in July, Antequera Golf's official inauguration took place on August 17. The club has a special opening offer of €20 for 18 holes' play.
Memberships were being sold as soon as the course accepted visitors and, within 3 weeks, 60 memberships were taken up at a price of €6,000.
Monte Paraiso Golf
Playing rights are now available for the new, Piñero-designed Executive course next to La Cañada commercial center in Marbella. The 9 holes on the par 3 course vary in length between 70m and 135m with ample greens to test the putting skills of all levels of player.
Director, Begoña Castillo, 27, who has overseen the project for the past year, expects everything to be in place for the official inauguration in September.
Seniors Return To Flamingos
by Colm Gill
Andalusian Tourist Board Join Daily Telegraph To Sponsor European Seniors Matchplay Championship
The Andalucian Tourist Board, a long time supporter of professional golf, has added to its commitment to the European Tours in assuming joint sponsorship of the Daily Telegraph European Seniors Matchplay Championship, which returns to Flamingos Golf Club from September 17 to 20. The tourist authority is already deeply committed to using showcase professional events as a shop window to attract golfing tourists through its involvement with the Volvo Masters Andalucia at Valderrama in November. A €25,932 first prize from a total fund of €162,075 awaits the winner from a 32-man field over one of the area's newest resort courses. This year's challengers, including local favourite Antonio Garrido, with Ryder Cup matchplay experience, will try to wrest the crown from Jamaica's Delroy Cambridge, who won the event last year on its first appearance in Spain. Brazil's Priscillo Diniz was a popular winner of the inaugural championship in 2000 at Portugal's Le Meridien Penina where Jim Rhodes succeeded him 12 months later. " Our members love the matchplay format, which comes as a pleasant distraction from the staple diet of strokeplay competition, and the tournament has quickly established itself as one of the most eagerly awaited on the Seniors schedule" says Andy Stubbs, MD of the European Seniors Tour. Spectators too, eagerly await the chance to enjoy some cut-throat, head-to-head competition between many of the names in golf that they have matured with. And large crowds are expected to attend the exclusive resort complex. Flamingo Rosa, upon which the tournament will be played, is not overly long at 5,907 metres, but the piano greens are worthy of a classical concert! Redesigned by Antonio Garcia Garrido - not the one who will be competing - each of the holes is delineated by a different species of tree. The course is crossed by the Taraje stream which ends in a natural lake behind the 10th green. The views along the closing stretch of the Mediterranean, with Africa and Gibraltar in the distance, may prove a costly distraction should anybody go "dormy" at that stage. The luxury Hotel Villa Padierna provides a stunning clubhouse at the centre of the resort.
Bernard Gallacher At Premiere Golf 2003
The organisers of the inaugural Premiere Golf Resort Conference have announced that the opening address will be made by three-times European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher OBE. In addition, they have announced that the keynote speaker will be Peter Draper, Marketing Director of Manchester United, who will address the conference on the subject of how to successfully market a brand in the leisure industry. He might also check out the latest line of golf gear with the Real Madrid logo, such as club head covers and visors, now available through Holiday Golf. The Resort Conference is one of a number of new activities being organised to run alongside Premiere Golf which will again be held at Marbella's Congress Palace from November 4 to 7. The Organisation of Golf Range Owners (OGRO) will hold its annual conference and the Golf Foundation will be hosting its first ever Junior Golf Forum aimed at stimulating junior golf.
El Puerto Opens Doors
Golf El Puerto, in Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz, has appointed Christian Iglesias to manage its Golf School and practice facilities. Christian, who hails from Argentina and has gained experience previously at La Ballena and RCG Pineda, will be sponsored by Golf El Puerto when he competes on the Spanish professional circuit. The 18 hole, 6,300 meter Golf El Puerto course, designed by Manuel Piñero's team at Target Engineering, has plans for an official inauguration in November involving a skins game between some top names on the European Tour.
Monte Paraiso Golf
A new nine-hole par three course is to open in the centre of Marbella in September. Monte Paraiso Golf is the worthy centrepiece of a luxury urbanisation which can clearly be seen from the N-340 motorway, the principal through road. Designed by Manuel Piñero, the holes vary between 70 and 135 meters in length to test the short games of the experienced, and provide a welcome challenge to those just taking the game up. Begoña Castillo, 27 from Madrid, has been appointed to oversee the running of the course for which playing rights can now be purchased.
Want Some Sympathy For Self-Inflicted Injuries?
The PGA of Europe has formed a working relationship with the Golf Health Foundation, a newly launched body, which offers information and help from a network of experts across Europe. The Foundation acts as a forum for the growing number of golf professionals with a particular interest in sports sciences and the provision of health care for all who play the game. A website, with sections on Nutrition, Preparation for Golf, The Mental Game, and Golf Injuries is currently online at www.golfhealth.info. The site, available at no cost to PGA registered professionals through a secure entry system, includes a clinic where golfers can address specialists and receive one-to-one advice. "This is an innovative service offering up-to-the-minute advice on a whole range of relevant subjects" says founder Dr.Lawrence Dawson. Although, currently, the experts are mainly from the UK, representatives from Finland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Barbados are included on the Foundation's register of clinical specialists which includes medical staff from the Ryder Cup, the men's and ladies' European Tours and many other levels of golf competition. The register will also be extended to include Psychologists, Bio-mechanists, Dieticians and Podiatrists as well as the Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors already online. Already the Foundation has run two courses for doctors interested in managing golf injuries and is making a long-term study of the mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of golf injuries. For further information contact Dr.Lawrence Dawson on +44 (0) 7768 528681 or [email protected]
ET Takes To Sky
Satellite TV channel Sky Sports has secured exclusive live rights to the Ryder Cup Matches, two Major Championships and a minimum of 34 tournaments on the European Tour Schedule in a series of new long-term agreements.
The new contracts provide Sky with live coverage of the Ryder Cup Matches in 2006 and 2008, in addition to the European Team's defence of the trophy at Oakland Hills in September 2004. A minimum of 34 events will also be shown live through to the end of the 2008 season, including all four World Golf Championships. Agreements have also been reached to broadcast the US Open Championship through to 2009 and the US PGA Championship to 2007. Golf is now the second most-televised sport on Sky Sports with programming every week of the year and more than 3,000 hours scheduled in 2003.
Golf News May 2003 Seville To Stage Golf World Cup
The main news up to the present has been that the RCG Sevilla had been inspected to assess its potential to stage the golf world cup in 2004. Given the city's proven ability to stage major international events - Expo '92, World Cup Athletics, the UEFA Cup Final - it should come as no surprise that the report compiled by the International Federation of Golf Tours is extremely positive. Officials from the PGA, European, Japanese, Australian, South African and Asian Tours considered the report during The Players Championship and named RCG Sevilla as the host course for the 2004 Golf World Cup. Twenty-four teams representing different nations associated with the FIG will play over the Olazabal-designed course.
Premiere Golf Widens Its Scope
Premiere Golf 2003, scheduled for the Marbella Congress Palace, from November 4 to 7, has been widened to include a number of key new elements. In addition to the main golf trade exhibition, this year's show will also include a Golf Resort conference, a Golf Range conference and a Junior Golf forum.
The inaugural resort conference aims to bring together directors and managers from leading European resorts to discuss vital matters concerning the success of their businesses. Numerous discussions have been planned on subjects as disparate as e-commerce, agronomy, merchandising for profit, cart fleets and course design for club managers. Leading industry experts, such as Colin Heggarty of Golf Research Group and Jeremy Slessor from European Tour Design, are signed up to speak. Additionally, the Organisation of Golf Range Owners (OGRO) will hold its European Conference in conjunction with Premiere Golf 2003. The inaugural Junior Golf Forum will be presented by the Golf Foundation and will include information on: community outreach programmes, case studies, sources of funding, psychology and the new Tri-Golf teaching programme. Dr.Christian Reichardt, American author of the book 'Pain Free Golf' will also lecture on golf-related health matters. Robert Fairbairn, owner of Premiere Golf, says, "By widening the scope from the core exhibition we want to develop the event further. It will be an event where leading figures from all areas of the trade can come together, not just to explore new business opportunities, but also enjoy the stunning facilities Marbella has to offer." Premiere Golf takes place the week after the Volvo Masters Andalucia and the week prior to the Seve Trophy matches.
New Qualification Criteria For Volvo Masters Andalucia
The qualification criteria for the season-ending Volvo Masters Andalucia, October 30 to November 2, has been altered. The field will consist of 60 players drawn exclusively from positions one to 60 on the Volvo Order of Merit following the Telefonica Madrid Open the previous week.
Past champions and Category One players will no longer have automatic exemption; any player outside the top 60 will not be eligible should any qualifier not be able to compete. The idea of the organisers is to place emphasis firmly on current form in order to reflect the enduring significance of the Volvo Order of Merit on the European Tour International Schedule.
By strictly limiting the number of qualifiers, the modification will also have the effect of ensuring there is no repetition of the 2002 championship when Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer shared the title (and the money) as darkness fell over the cork tree-lined fairways of Valderrama.