South African Branden Grace will be seeking his third Volvo title of 2012 in next month’s Volvo World Match Play Championship, having already bagged the Volvo Golf Champions and the Volvo China Open.
Grace has won an astounding three titles since coming through the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in December – the Joburg Open got the ball rolling in January – and his next challenge is to take on a world-class field at Finca Cortesin in Spain from May 17-20.
The 23 year old will be joined by 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell and 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, as well as home favourites Sergio Garcia, Alvaro Quiros and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
Grace, currently fourth in The Race to Dubai, said: “The two Volvo titles are huge and then the Joburg Open will always be very special as the first one in my career. Now I just have to go back to Europe and win the third Volvo title.”
Garcia, who won back-to-back events on home soil last year in the Castelló Masters and the Andalucía Masters, said: “It is tough to qualify for such an elite field so I am delighted to have won my place in the Volvo World Match Play field for next month.
“I am hitting the ball really well and the confidence is coming so I am looking forward to playing at Finca Cortesín very much. As everyone knows, I love match play and even more, I love playing in Spain in front of my home fans, so I think this will be a great week for me.”
Defending champion Ian Poulter, World Number Ten Justin Rose, reigning Open Champion Darren Clarke, 2010 US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer, two-time Major winner Retief Goosen, 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie and 2010 Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson are all already confirmed for the 47th edition of the tournament.
The field will be divided into eight groups of three, who will play a round-robin group format on Thursday and Friday. This will decide which 16 players progress to Saturday’s knockout stage, with the semi-finals and final played on Sunday.
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “After an excellent week at the Volvo China Open and an extremely impressive performance by Branden Grace, we are now firmly focused on the Volvo World Match Play Championship and what an exciting field we are gathering for this year’s tournament. I look forward to revealing yet more confirmed players next week.”
Guy Kinnings, Managing Director of IMG Golf, EMEA, added: “I remember the days when Mark McCormack announced his eight invited players for the match play and there were many players who understandably felt greatly disappointed to be left out.
“Now we have a transparent qualification criteria developed with our partners, Volvo and the European Tour, ensuring that leading players from around the world have the chance to qualify for this historic event. With Race to Dubai, Ryder Cup and World Ranking points on offer as well as the kudos of some notable scalps on offer, we can’t wait for this world-class field to go head to head at the beautiful setting of Finca Cortesín.”
For more information please visit www.volvoingolf.com