6 November 2013
The Volvo Golf Champions, to be hosted by South Africa’s Durban Country Club in January, on Tuesday announced a 50 percent increase in its prize fund to US$4-million. Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen also confirmed his participation in the event.
The exclusive, limited-field event serves as the European Tour’s “Tournament of Champions”.
Only players who have won on the Tour in the previous year, or current Tour players who have won 10 or more Tour titles in their careers qualify for the prestigious tournament.
The winner will walk away with a cheque for $700 000 (approximately R7.17-million). However, thanks to the event’s elite status, every player will be richly rewarded for qualifying for the tournament. Contesting it will also give those players a head start in the Race to Dubai standings.
Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen said in a statement: “It is fantastic for South Africa to get to host the European Tour’s ‘Tournament of Champions’ again.
“It is an impressive boost to the prize fund and I am delighted to be defending my title at the Durban Country Club. I love the course and enjoy the advantage of playing in front of my home crowd. I look forward to opening my season there very much.”
Per Ericsson, the President of Volvo Event Management, said: “We are thrilled to make this announcement underlining the prestige of our Championship and its key position on the European Tour schedule.
“As this event is a very important sales and marketing platform for the Volvo brand, we will soon be revealing some amazing Hole-in-One prizes, which will continue our innovative approach from last year.”
Thomas Bjorn, the Chairman of the European Tour Player Committee and speaking on behalf of the players said: “The players are very grateful to Volvo for all they have contributed to our Tour and I believe that this increase in prize money will make this year opening event a ‘must-play’ for those players hoping to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.
“The Volvo Golf Champions is a very prestigious event on our schedule and one that everyone wants to qualify for.”
Guy Kinnings, the Global Head of Golf for IMG, the tournament’s co-owners, commented: “This is a very exciting announcement for the Volvo Golf Champions and it’s clear that players qualifying for the Tournament have a great opportunity to get their season off to a flying start.
“We have had such good feedback from the players about their experiences in KwaZulu-Natal during the Volvo Golf Champions in January, I know that all the players qualifying will be absolutely delighted by this announcement and is yet more evidence of Volvo’s tremendous support of the European Tour.”
The Championship is being supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department for Economic Develop and Tourism.