Volvo has strong Ryder Cup flavor
Ryder Cup-winning captain Jose Maria Olazabal and Europe team members Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson will all play at the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa in January.
Olazabal and 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie have qualified for the event by winning 10 or more career tournaments on the European Tour.
Organizers also said Tuesday that the Volvo Golf Champions, which will be held in South Africa for the second straight year, will have total prize money of $2.6 million in 2013.
Thomas Bjorn and 2011 Volvo Golf Champions winner Paul Casey will add to a strong European contingent at the Durban Country Club from Jan. 10-13. Hanson, the Swede who won the BMW Masters in Shanghai last weekend, also was one of the early entrants.
''The Volvo Golf Champions should make for a terrific start to 2013 and already, with this list of European Tour champions, the field is shaping up well,'' European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said.
The inaugural Volvo Golf Champions was held in Bahrain in 2011 but was moved to South Africa this year because of security concerns in the Gulf state following anti-government demonstrations. Branden Grace of South Africa, who has won four times on the European Tour this season, is the defending champion.
He will be joined by home contenders Louis Oosthuizen, the former British Open champion, and two-time major winner Retief Goosen.
The Volvo Golf Champions falls in the middle of a busy period for South African golf. The country hosts seven European Tour events between November and February and also has the big-money Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on the first weekend of December.