European Tour begins at Volvo Champions
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 Volvo Golf Champions | Preview | 09 Jan 2013
The European Tour’s opening event of 2013 begins on Thursday at the Volvo Golf Champions event at the Durban Country Club on South Africa’s East Coast.
The event is being played for the third consecutive year although for the first time at this particular venue having been played at the Royal Golf Club of Bahrain in its inaugural year and at the Links at Fancourt in South Africa last year.
The tournament brings together winners of eligible events from the European Tour, previous winners of this event under the age of 50 and winners of ten or more European Tour titles under the age of 50.
Some of the leading players in European golf are in the field including Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Oosthuizen had a brilliant run of form late in 2012 before a disappointing finish at the Alfred Dunhill event in his homeland. His chances look very good
Els is a two time winner over the Durban Golf Club’s layout and although the current Open Championship winner has not played often of late he did finish runner-up to Ian Poulter at the HSBC Champions event in China in early November. Provided he is tournament ready he could win again at the Durban Golf Club.
Branden Grace is the defending champion, his victory in the event last year the second of five victories he recorded worldwide in 2013. The South African’s form dropped off a little late in the season but he appears to play very well at home.
Francesco Molinari missed only one cut in 27 worldwide starts in 2012 and although he seldom contended late in the season his form through the middle of the year was outstanding.
Long hitting Nicolas Colsaerts was one of the big movers in world golf in 2012, winning the Volvo World Match Play Championship and playing a key role in the successful European Ryder Cup team.
There will be a lot of interest in the return to tournament golf of Retief Goosen after five months away from the game following back surgery.
No Australians have made the field in the €2 million event.
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