VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
With a total prize fund of €3.25 million, and a first prize of €750,000, a place in the Volvo World Match Play Championship could significantly enhance a player’s position on the ‘Race to Dubai’, with all 16 players chasing a place in the end-of-season showpiece.
Per Ericsson, President & CEO of Volvo Event Management Golf, said, “The new Volvo World Match Play Championship represents the next chapter of the ‘Volvo in Golf’ story and will be Volvo’s 120th title sponsorship, a record of which we are justifiably proud.”
“I am delighted how well all the partners have worked together on developing the Volvo World Match Play format, especially on achieving a clear and transparent qualification criteria, developing an exciting new match play format and creating a world-class sporting and social ambience that I believe will be comparable to a ‘Ryder Cup,’ for individual golfers.”
Spain’s leading golf star, Sergio Garcia explained, “I am delighted that the European Tour has worked with Volvo and IMG to change the date to ensure the best field possible is available.
Match play is very exciting at the best of times but I think the position of the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the Schedule near the end of The Race to Dubai will make it even more thrilling. Of course it is also special for me that Spain is hosting such a prestigious global tournament so I will be hoping to qualify and do very well in front of my home fans."
Colin Montgomerie, recently announced as European Ryder Cup Captain and winner of the 1999 World Match Play Championship added, “This is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on The European Tour and it really is heartening in these tough economic times to be announcing such positive news. The new qualifying criteria will certainly make it tough for me to qualify but you can be sure I will be doing all I can to secure my place in the field, starting at the Volvo China Open in a couple of weeks time.
[The Volvo World Match Play Championship] is now sitting in a crucial end of the season date and I think it will be a very important week for the 16 in-form players who make it into the field. As it is match play format, I don’t mind admitting I will have my Ryder Cup hat on as I watch with interest to see who rises to the challenge of the cut and thrust of match play.”
Paul Casey, World Match Play Championship winner in 2006 following on from his Volvo China Open victory, added, “This is a very exciting new phase for the event and with long- time Tour sponsor, Volvo, on board, it is sure to go from strength to strength. It is in a great place on the schedule – it is the last event in Europe before The Dubai World Championship and is one that we must qualify for to give ourselves the best chance to top The Race to Dubai.”
Speaking on behalf of Finca Cortesín, Javier Reviriego, General Manager of Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa, “We are delighted to have so many media here today and are really looking forward to hosting the Volvo World Match Play Championship for the first time here in Andalucia. It is a significant global event and we believe are progressing well with our preparations, working with Volvo and IMG, to ensure everything about our venue is ready for the inaugural Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín. Since the very conception of the Finca Cortesin project, we have always planned to host a major golf event like this one. We are certain our facilities and the service we provide to our clients can match the top golf resorts in the world.”
Guy Kinnings, Director, IMG Golf (EAME), added, “We were very excited to announce Volvo’s title sponsorship last year and are thrilled with the way we are collaborating to take this great event forward. It is nice to be commenting on such a good news story where one of the Tour’s most committed sponsors has worked to ensure the brightest of futures for one of the longest running events on Tour. Finca Cortesín are proving to be the best of hosts for this event and they have done everything to ensure the course is in perfect condition and will provide the ideal stage for the thrilling head-to-head contests the World Match Play always enjoys.”
The 45th edition of the World Match Play Championship will be Volvo’s first year as title sponsor having hosted the 21st and final Volvo Masters at Club de Golf Valderrama in 2008.
The Championship will be held in Spain for the first time in its history moving from Wentworth Club and 16 of the world’s best players will go head-to-head in classic match play golf over the magnificent 7,439-yard course at Finca Cortesin designed by Cabell B Robinson. The change in qualifying criteria announced last year will ensure the most cosmopolitan and International World Match Play field in its 45-year history.
The Official World Golf Ranking and The Race to Dubai will be used to identify the 16-man field with leading players from the continents of Europe, Africa/Middle East, North America, South America, Asia and Australasia qualifying along with the defending Champion and winner of the 2009 Volvo China Open.
The Tournament will also benefit from an innovative new playing formula as the players will contest a new look ‘Champion’s League,’ style match play format with the players divided into groups of four where they will play each member of their group over full 18 hole matches.
The winner of each group will qualify for the semi finals which, along with the final, will be played over 36 holes in traditional and compelling head-to head-match play golf, considered by many to be the purest form of the royal and ancient game.
List of confirmed players for the Volvo Match Play
Jeev Milkha Singh
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