The Volvo Golf Champions, The European Tour’s season-opening ‘Tournament of Champions’, will return for the second consecutive year to the province of KwaZulu-Natal and will once again be played at the magnificent Durban Country Club, from 9th to 12th January 2014, with an increased prize fund reinforcing the Championship’s position as one of the most prestigious tournaments on The European Tour International Schedule.
An exclusive, limited-field event with no halfway cut, the Volvo Golf Champions is open only to European Tour players who have won an event on the previous year’s International Schedule, the only exception being current Tour Members with more than ten European Tour victories.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has given the Volvo Golf Champions their unreserved backing as they seek to once again to show the world the fabulous golf credentials of their Province.
Durban Country Club was an outstanding venue in 2013 and the course has only improved since then, making certain that The European Tour’s leading golfers will find this historic venue, which has hosted the South African Open on no fewer than 17 occasions, in even better condition than before.
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. We will announce further details of the event, including a significantly increased prize fund, in early November. As last year, we will host the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge the same week as the Volvo Golf Champions where our customers can qualify to play with the pros during the tournament."
Guy Kinnings, 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.”
Michael Mabuyakhulu, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government said: “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. We very much enjoyed partnering with Volvo and IMG this year and look forward to another exciting tournament in 2014.”
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.”
George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “We are delighted that our ‘Tournament of Champions’ will return to the Durban Country Club in January. It is a wonderful celebration of all of our 2013 winners, and we are looking forward to working again with Volvo – our longest-serving sponsor – IMG and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and South African Government for what we are sure will be another superb edition of the Volvo Golf Champions. 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.”
The same week, the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge – Volvo’s global tournament for customers – will be contested in Durban. In what is a genuine ‘money can’t buy’ experience, the top finishers from the World Final get the chance to play together 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. It’s called ‘Playing with the Pros’ – an opportunity that exists nowhere else in golf.