DID YOU KNOW - VOLVO GOLF CHAMPIONS
• There are 27 winners from The European Tour International Schedule from 2013 and three from the 2014 season so far, competing. (Thomas Björn and Dawie Van der Walt have won in both seasons).
• Between the 36 players taking part, they have amassed a total of 228 European Tour victories.
• Durban Country Club has staged the South African Open Championship 17 times, the last of which was in the 2011 season (Dec 2010) and won by Ernie Els. That year Retief Goosen was second and Louis Oosthuizen was third. This is the second consecutive season that the Volvo Champions is being played at this venue.
• Defending champion, Louis Oosthuizen will be bidding to become the third player this season to make a successful defence, following Charl Schwartzel (2013-14 Alfred Dunhill Championship) and Miguel Angel Jiménez (2012 and 2014 Hong Kong Open. The 2014 event was played in December 2013 but not part of the 2013 Schedule).
• Should Oosthuizen win again he would join Charl Schwartzel as the only two South Africans to successfully defend two different European Tour events. Schwartzel did this at the 2010-11 Joburg Open and 2013-14 Alfred Dunhill Championship. Oosthuizen successfully defended for the first time at the Africa Open in 2011-12.
• South Africa are going for a hat-trick of titles in the Volvo Golf Champions, following Branden Grace (2012) and Louis Oosthuizen (2013). Indeed, all three previous winners are competing, Paul Casey, being the first in 2011.
• Miguel Angel Jiménez will be playing in his 619 European Tour event in this year’s Volvo Golf Champions, putting him level with Roger Chapman in equal third place in the list of most events played. Should he win he would become the first 50 year old to win in European Tour history, having celebrated his birthday on January 5. He won the 2014 Hong Kong Open aged 49 years and 337 days last December.
• Durban County Club has been used for European Tour competition six times previous. The events were: the 1996 FNB Players Championship, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2011 (Dec 2010) South African Open Championship and the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions. On each occasion a South African has prevailed. They were: Wayne Westner in the FNB Players Championship, Ernie Els (1998 and 2011 (Dec 10) South African Open Championship, Tim Clark (2002 and 2005) South African Open Championship and Oosthuizen in last year’s Volvo Golf Champions.
• In 2011 the Volvo Golf Champions became the ninth different Volvo European Tour sponsored event; more than any other sponsor.
• The Volvo Golf Champions will begin the 28th consecutive year of Volvo sponsorship on The European Tour. This dates back to the Volvo Belgian Open in 1987 at Royal Waterloo and won by Eamonn Darcy.