Durban to host Volvo Golf Champions

17 October 2013

The fourth edition of the prestigious Volvo Golf Champions will be held at the Durban Country Club for a second year in succession from 9 to 12 January 2014.

The event is open only to players who have won on the European Tour in the last year, or who have 10 or more European Tour victories to their name.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen is the defending champion after a one-shot victory over Scotland’s Scott Jamieson in January of this year.

In 2012, fellow South African Branden Grace, after qualifying for the Volvo Golf Champions only a week before the tournament on The Links at Fancourt, won the event on his way to capturing a stunning four European Tour titles that year.

Volvo World Golf Challenge

The same week as the 2014 tournament takes place, the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge – Volvo’s global tournament for customers – will be contested in Durban.

The top finishers from the World Final will get a chance to play with the stars of The European Tour on the Friday of the Volvo Golf Champions, live on television, in front of a worldwide audience of millions.

Commenting on the venue in a statement on Wednesday, Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “Durban Country Club offers a fantastic stage for the European Tour’s 2013 winners to challenge at the season-opening event.

“We are very happy to be partnering with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, the Department for Sport and Recreation and the Department for Tourism again.”

‘A fantastic place’

Guy Kinnings, the Global Head of Golf, IMG, the tournament’s co-owners, said: “KwaZulu-Natal Province is a fantastic place to kick off the year and, having received no end of positive feedback from the players about their experiences during the Volvo Golf Champions this year, I know all the players will be delighted by this announcement, which will showcase South Africa to a global audience over the four days of the Championship.

“This is the third time we have played the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa, demonstrating the strength of golf in South Africa, which is testament to the great work done by the Sunshine Tour, both on their national Tour and in partnership with the European Tour.”

George O’Grady, the CEO of The European Tour, said: “We are delighted that our ‘Tournament of Champions’ will return to the Durban Country Club in January.

“We are also very thankful for the support of our friends at the Sunshine Tour, who play such a crucial role in the eight tournaments we host in South Africa.”

Two-prong strategy

Mike Mabuyakhulu, the KZN MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, said the hosting of the tournament offered a number of pluses. “The Volvo Golf Champions works perfectly with our strategy to showcase our golf tourism offering to the world, while giving our star players opportunities to compete in front of their home crowds.”

Deputy Minister of Tourism, South African Government, Tokozile Xasa, added: “Through the Volvo Golf Champions, we are able to show the world the wonderful facilities we have to offer international visitors as the event is viewed by many millions around the world.

“We look forward to welcoming home our South African players and to hosting the many other great Champions from the European Tour in January.”

SAinfo reporter and Volvo Golf Champions