Ryder Cup winners to play Volvo Golf Champions

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 first 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.