The Volvo World Match Play Championship is set for a new date in 2011 and will be held 19th to 22nd May, 2011 at Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf and Spa on the magnificent Andalucian coast in Southern Spain.
The 2009 Volvo World Match Play Championship was hailed a huge success as changes in qualification and format were widely acclaimed and the new blue chip venue of Finca Cortesin was warmly embraced by players, media and spectators alike.
Securing a new permanent date for the Championship has been at the very heart of today’s announcement. With the global schedule becoming ever more congested in the Autumn months with existing tournaments and the addition of new events in Europe and Asia, Volvo and IMG have worked together with the European Tour and, crucially, the players, to ensure that this world class event is given the date it properly deserves.
The new permanent May date for the Championship is secured under a four year agreement with the European Tour (2011-2014) and ensures the Volvo World Match Play Championship is guaranteed the Spanish sunshine and that the world’s best players are able to include the Volvo World Match Play Championship in their schedules; and crucially, the aim is that the Volvo World Match Play Championship will now be the sole dominant European Tour event played in the new date.
The 16 man field will be increased to allow 24 of the world’s best players to compete for this coveted title and the qualification process, so successful in gathering one of the highest quality international fields on the European Tour in 2009, has been modified to accommodate the increase.
In keeping with its world class status the prize fund for the 2011 Championship increases to €3.4 million with a first prize of €800,000, the highest on the European Tour outside of the Majors, World Golf Championship events and the Dubai World Golf Championship.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia was delighted to hear the news and hopes he will be able to include the tournament in his schedule, commenting: “It is great news that the Volvo World Match Play Championship has secured this key date in the schedule. Last year’s tournament was fantastic – Finca Cortesin provided a wonderfully dramatic backdrop for some thrilling match ups.
"Spain’s wonderful golf facilities were proudly shown around the world in doing such a wonderful job in hosting this historic tournament for the first time. I think we all enjoyed the ‘champions league’ style groupings and I believe that the increased field and amended format in 2011 will make for an even more thrilling Championship.”
Ross Fisher, 2009 Volvo World Match Play Champion, added: ”Winning this prestigious title was a very important achievement for me, especially having grown up watching so many great players win this event over the years.
"I thoroughly enjoy match play and as I am working to qualify for the 2010 Ryder Cup this year, I hope that winning such a prestigious match play tournament against such a strong field might have impressed our European Captain, Colin Montgomerie, who was at Finca Cortesin watching the Championship last year.”