Englishman Ian Poulter has confirmed he will defend his title at the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín, Spain, from May 17-20, 2012.
The 2012 Championship will once again attract 24 of the world’s best golfers for the 47th edition of the historic event.
Last year Poulter confirmed his reputation as one of golf's most determined competitors as he capped a succession of comeback wins at the 2011 Volvo World Match Play Championship with victory over current World Number One Luke Donald in the final at Finca Cortesín.
Repeating last year’s successful format, the players will be divided into eight groups of three players for the round-robin group stage on Thursday and Friday to decide which 16 players progress to Saturday’s knock-out stage with the semi-finals and final played on Sunday.
Poulter is eager to play in what will be the first event back on European soil after the Masters Tournament.
“I can’t wait to return to Spain to defend my title at the Volvo World Match Play Championship,” he said. “I love the cut and thrust of match play and find it a refreshing change from the usual stroke play format we play week in and week out on the Tour.
“I am also very excited be heading back to stay at the luxurious Finca Cortesín Hotel once again and all the wonderful hospitality and services they have on offer as it is definitely one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
“With the fact that it’s a Ryder Cup year, I think it will be even more exciting this year with every match from the group stages to the final a chance for aspiring team members to impress Captain Olazábal in what is our final chance to play match play before Medinah.”
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “It is wonderful to hear our reigning Champion will be returning to Finca Cortesín to defend his title, and to hear his enthusiasm for the Championship.
“We are coming up to a very exciting time on the golf calendar and it will be fascinating to see what the Masters, and of course the winner of the Volvo China Open, will bring in terms of the final field. We are very happy that our changes to the qualification and format of this historic event have enhanced the tournament in many ways and that so many top players are anxious to earn their place in this elite field.”
Guy Kinnings, Global Co-Managing Director of IMG Golf, said: “Last year we made some significant changes to the date, format and qualification criteria and we feel they did much to improve this great event, started by IMG’s Founder Mark McCormack in 1964. Many observers thought the 2011 tournament was one of the most exciting in its long history. The player’s feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and once again we look set to assemble another world class field for this year’s Championship. Working with our partners Volvo, Finca and the European Tour we look forward to another exciting edition of the Volvo World Match Play Championship.”
Vicente Rubio, Managing Director Finca Cortesín, said: “We are really looking forward to the return of the Volvo World Match Play Championship and to once again hosting a world class field of players, including our 2011 Champion at Finca Cortesín in May. The players have always been very generous in their kind comments about Finca Cortesín and we aim to make it an even better experience for them this year. All our preparations are going well and the course is in fantastic shape and we are sure that everyone will enjoy the week as much as they did last year and in 2009.”