Three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington confirmed his entry on Thursday as entries closed for the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions. The European Tour’s elite year-opening ‘tournament of champions’ for European Tour winners only will have a field of 35 players who have won 234 European Tour titles between them including 14 Major titles.
Harrington qualifies along with along with Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Thomas Björn as a current Tour Member with more than ten European Tour victories. They will compete against 28 European Tour champions from 2012 in the year-opening Volvo Golf Champions at the Durban Country Club from the 10th to the 13th January 2013 where players will compete for a prize fund of €2million.
Five South Africans have qualified for the Volvo Golf Champions this year with 27-time winner on the European Tour, Ernie Els, heading the strong home challenge along with defending Champion, Branden Grace, the afore-mentioned, Retief Goosen, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and first time winner on the European Tour, Jbe Kruger. They will face a tough challenge from a field that is represented by a total of 16 nationalities including Matteo Manassero, Miguel Ángel Jiménez,Jeev Milkha Singh, Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Casey, Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson.
Harrington, who won the 2012 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, explained: “I was playing really well towards the end of 2012 and now that I am part-way through my winter training programme, I am looking forward to getting out on Tour and competing. I think this is an ideal tournament to start my year off where there is a limited elite field to test myself against, no cut and beautiful weather. It is a great event and I am very much looking forward to returning to South Africa in January.”
As Christmas approaches, two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen also shared some positive news as he continues his recovery from the back operation he had in August. He explained: “Everything has been going really well with my rehabilitation and I am back out on the course enjoying playing golf with my family and friends. I am confident I will be ready to compete come the Volvo Champions and I’m very excited to play my first tournament back at the Durban Country Club in front of my home fans.”
The renowned Durban Country Club was recently voted one of the Top 100 golf courses in the world by Golf Magazine USA and boasts an impressive résumé having hosted the South African Open on no fewer than 17 occasions.
The Volvo World Golf Challenge is Volvo’s global tournament for customers. This year, more than 30 countries are taking part, with 68 players making it all the way to the World Final. The most successful performers amongst the World Finalists get the chance to team up with the stars of the European Tour during the Volvo Golf Champions, live on television, in front of a worldwide audience of millions.
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