After a short break, the European Tour resumes play on January 10th at the Volvo Golf Championships in South Africa at the Durban Country Club in Durban, South Africa. Padraig Harrington has committed, and will round out the field. Although the European Tour has already began play that has awarded Race To Dubai points, The Volvo Championship is the official kick-off to the new 2013 season, and is in line with the PGA’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Although Harrington did not win an official tournament in 2012, he qualifies along with Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, and Thomas Bjorn as tour members with more than 10 victories on the European Tour, and will play along with the 28 winners of a 2012 tournament. Harrington has three major titles on his resume, and his victory at the PGA World Series of Golf brings him to Durban looking for a good start to the 2013 season.
The Durban Country Club has been recently voted as a top 100 facility in the World by Golf Magazine, and has hosted the South African Open 17 times in the past. This Championship, with a 2,000,000 Euro purse should be a prelude to the much anticipated match up of world number one, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods for their first meeting in 2013 the following weekend.
South African, Charl Schwartzel is the current Race To Dubai leader after his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, and leads second place Scott Jamieson, who won the Nelson Mandella by 40,000 Euro. South African, Branden Grace won this tournament last year, beating Retief Goosen, and Ernie Els in a playoff. All three ended regulation play at -12 under par.
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