PGA European - Volvo Golf Champions Preview
From The Sports Network
|DATES: Thursday, January 10th through Sunday, January 13th|
|SITE: Durban Country Club, Durban, South Africa|
|COURSE ARCHITECT: George Waterman and Lawrie B. Waters (1922)|
|Hole-By-Hole:||1 - Par 4 387 Yds||10 - Par 5 560 Yds|
|2 - Par 3 188 Yds||11 - Par 4 480 Yds|
|3 - Par 5 512 Yds||12 - Par 3 156 Yds|
|4 - Par 3 180 Yds||13 - Par 4 339 Yds|
|5 - Par 4 459 Yds||14 - Par 5 527 Yds|
|6 - Par 4 352 Yds||15 - Par 3 194 Yds|
|7 - Par 4 372 Yds||16 - Par 4 417 Yds|
|8 - Par 5 501 Yds||17 - Par 4 401 Yds|
|9 - Par 4 434 Yds||18 - Par 4 273 Yds|
|36 3,385 Yds||36 3,347 Yds|
|Annual: || 3rd|
|Television: || Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (et) - taped,|
| || - Saturday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (et) - taped|
|Defending Champion: || Branden Grace|
|Runner-Up: || Retief Goosen, Ernie Els|
|Tournament Record: || 268 (Paul Casey, 2011)|
|54-Hole Record: || 200 (Paul Casey, Peter Hanson, 2011)|
|36-Hole Record: || 133 (R. Jacquelin, E. Molinari, P. Hanson, M.A. Jimenez, 2011)|
|18-Hole Record: || 63 (Soren Kjeldsen, Richard Finch, 2011 - The Royal Golf Club)|
|Total Purse: || $2,615,528|
|Shares: || 1st Place - $457,717; 2nd Place - $295,947; 3rd Place - $171,709|
|Branden Grace *||280||Jose Maria Olazabal||284|
|Retief Goosen||280||Raphael Jacquelin||286|
|Ernie Els||280||Louis Oosthuizen||286|
|Nicolas Colsaerts||281||Thomas Aiken||287|
|Charl Schwartzel||282||Two players at||288|
|Past Volvo Golf Champions Winners|
|Year||Winner (Score) -- Runners-Up|
|2012||*Branden Grace (280) -- Retief Goosen, Ernie Els|
|2011||Paul Casey (268) -- Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez|
|Top Contenders in the Field|
|Jose M. Olazabal||mc||6th|
|Sports Network Selections|
|Pick to Win - Henrik Stenson|
|Darkhorse - Scott Jamieson|
|Last Week's Pick to Win - Dec. 13-16 (Charl Schwartzel) - Finished 1st|
|Last Week's Darkhorse - Dec. 13-16 (Bjorn Akesson) - Finished tied for 25th|
The European Tour concludes its stay in South Africa this week with the Volvo
Golf Champions in Durban. This is the third straight event in South Africa to
start the 2013 season. Scott Jameison captured the Nelson Mandela Championship
and Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December.
Eleven of the top-50 players in the world are scheduled to compete, led by
South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Ernie Els. Oosthuizen is the highest-
ranked player in the field at No. 6 in the world. The 2010 British Open
champion had two wins in 2012 and lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson at the
Masters. Els is coming off a solid 2012 season, which saw him win his fourth
major championship at the British Open. Other major champions in the field are
Darren Clarke (2011 British Open), South African Retief Goosen (2001 and 2004
U.S. Open), Paul Lawrie (1999 British Open) and Jose Maria Olazabal (1994 and
1999 Masters). Goosen is playing for the first time since August due to back
This event features an exclusive field of 33 proven winners. It is reserved
for European Tour players who won a tournament on the 2012 European Tour
schedule and the winners from the first two events of 2013. Current tour
members under the age of 50 with more than 10 victories are also invited.
This tournament will be played at Durban Country Club, which opened in 1922.
Durban Country Club has hosted the South African Open Championship 17 times,
with the last time coming in December, 2010, when Els won the title.
Volvo is the most prolific sponsor in European Tour history. This tournament
marked the ninth different Volvo sponsored event since 1972 and 27th
consecutive year of Volvo sponsorship on the European Tour.
Last year, South African Branden Grace toppled two of his home country's
golfing icons, Els and Goosen, in a playoff to win his second straight event
on the European Tour. Grace birdied the first playoff hole to best Els and
Goosen. He earned his first tour victory a week prior at the Joburg Open.
Grace would go on to win two more times in 2012 to claim a season-high four
European Tour victories.
In 2011, Paul Casey parred the final hole to capture the inaugural tournament
by one stroke over Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Casey notched his
11th European Tour victory and first since the 2009 BMW PGA Championship.
Casey finished at 20-under 268 for the tournament.
The European Tour travels to the Gulf next week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf
Championship in the United Arab Emirates, where Robert Rock won last year.
Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose are expected to make their season
01/08 15:47:17 ET
As of January 8, 2013, at 03:47 PM ET