Paul Casey, the 2006 champion and 2011 Volvo Golf Champions winner, has received the sponsor’s invite completing the field for the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín, Spain, from May 17-20..
Casey said: “I am very grateful to Volvo for giving me this invite as I would have hated to miss out on what is one of my favourite events of the year. Having been injured at the start of the season, I am beginning to get a little more tournament tough and I think the match play format will suit me very well. I can’t wait to see who I will have in my group. Of course, being a Ryder Cup year, this great Championship is even more significant and we will all be out to impress our Captain (José María Olazábal) in every match.”
The 24-man elite 2012 field offers a number of intriguing story lines as 15 of the World’s top 60 gather for the only match play event to be held in Europe this season and one of the most prestigious tournaments in Europe.
Three Spaniards have qualified for the Championship for the first time; Sergio García, Álvaro Quirós and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, each offering compelling reasons why they should be the first Spanish winner since the Championship moved to Spain in 2009 and since the legendary Seve Ballesteros triumphed in 1991.
Six Major Champions will be seeking their first Match Play title in the form of Darren Clarke, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie and Retief Goosen while South African rising star, Branden Grace, will be looking to secure a ‘Volvo Grand Slam’ on the day of his 24th birthday, having already won the 2012 Volvo China Open and Volvo Golf Champions.
Twelve nations are represented at the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship with England leading the charge with six players qualifying for this elite tournament including defending Champion, Ian Poulter and World Number nine, Justin Rose. Eleven players will be making their Volvo World Match Play Championship debut including American star Brandt Snedeker, ranked 23rd in the world, Australia’s John Senden and Sweden’s Peter Hanson who finished third at the recent Masters Tournament. Retief Goosen is the most experienced campaigner in the field with ten appearances to his name while Thomas Björn, a three-time winner on The European Tour last year, will be making his sixth appearance. Colombia’s Camilo Villegas and 2011 Volvo China Open Champion Nicolas Colsaerts will be amongst six players making only their second appearance.
The Championship’s exciting format will see the players, divided into eight groups of three, play in a round-robin group format on Thursday and Friday. This will decide which 16 players progress to Saturday’s knock-out stage with the semi-finals and final played on Sunday.
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, added: “We are delighted to be announcing this final field containing so many world class players and offering so many intriguing possible storylines. I can’t wait for the groupings to be announced as they will no doubt throw up some fascinating match-ups. We look forward to another glorious week at the spectacular Finca Cortesín. To add to the excitement, this year we have a very special hole-in-one prize on the 10th hole where the players will have the chance to win the All New Volvo V40.”
Guy Kinnings, Global Co-Managing Director of IMG Golf, added: “Once again we have gathered a fantastic international field to challenge for the 47th Volvo World Match Play Championship title. We look forward to another great Championship with our partners, Volvo and The European Tour, at the beautiful setting of Finca Cortesín. With Race to Dubai, Ryder Cup and World Ranking points on offer as well as the kudos of some notable scalps on offer, this Championship has all the ingredients to make for a thrilling week of match play golf.”
George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “Throughout its long and distinguished history, the Volvo World Match Play Championship has produced some exceptional and memorable encounters. This 47th edition of the championship at the stunning Finca Cortesin course will surely deliver more exciting moments as this outstanding field seeks to emulate Ian Poulter’s achievements in winning in 2011. Our congratulations and thanks go to Volvo, IMG and all supporting sponsors, as well as to all the officials and everyone connected with Finca Cortesín, for making this week possible.”
Vicente Rubio, Managing Director Finca Cortesín said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming these global golf stars to Finca Cortesín next week. The players have been very generous in their kind comments about Finca Cortesín in the past and we have worked hard to ensure that, once again, everything is in place for another excellent week of golf for all the players and spectators.”
For more information please visit www.volvoingolf.com
2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship Final Field (in alphabetical order):