The Links at Fancourt, South Africa 19 - 22 January 2012
Official Programme 15 Rand
All revenues from the sale of the programme go to support Star for Life
Contents Welcome messages 5. Welcome from Olof Persson, Volvo Group 7. Welcome from Stefan Jacoby, Volvo Car Corporation 9. Welcome from Per Ericsson, Volvo Event Management 11. Welcome from Kerrin Titmas, Fancourt 13. Welcome from Guy Kinnings, IMG 15. Welcome from George O'Grady, The European Tour
FEATURE articles 18. Stage is Set to Crown the Champion of Champions – Preview of the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions 22. Why South Africa is currently King of the Swingers – The Strength of South African Golf 26. Volvo in Golf – a Hand-in-Glove Partnership 31. Volvo’s Ultimate Challenge – the Volvo World Golf Challenge 32. Playing with the Pros at the Volvo Golf Champions – the Experience of a Lifetime 34. Fancourt – an Ecolological choice for the Volvo Golf Champions 38. George and the Western Cape – Beauty and adventure await 40. Volvo Group – Duel Fuel Powers Volvo’s Sponsorship Drive 44. IMG – Celebrating 50 Successful Years 46. Fancourt – Wake Up to the Dream 48. Charity begins at home for Volvo Golf Champions – Star for Life 50. Trophy Hunters – the Making of the Volvo Trophy
Editor-in-Chief: Mike Gallemore Design Director: Alex Gallemore Editor: Richard Bevan Deputy Editor: Todd Staszko Technical Manager: Mark Collinge Publisher: Mike Gallemore
Published by: Worldwide Sporting Publications Browside Barn, Stoneheads Whaley Bridge, High Peak Derbyshire, SK23 7BB Tel: +44 (0)1663 719 926; Tel: +44 (0)1663 734 229 www.wspglobal.com
information 16. Sponsor's Acknowledgements 17. Schedule of Events 52. How the Players Qualified 53. Player Profiles 72. Hole-by-Hole Guide 79. Acknowledgements 80. Map of the Course and Public Village
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Welcome from Olof Persson,
President AB Volvo and CEO Volvo Group
It gives me great pleasure to welcome players, officials, sponsors and business partners, spectators, journalists and broadcasters to South Africaâ€™s number one golf course, Fancourt, and for what I hope will be four days of exciting world class golfing. Anders Lindblad, President Volvo Area Southern Africa, will represent the Volvo Group at Fancourt and Iâ€™m certain he and his team will be on hand for any queries that may arise during the Volvo Golf Champions. The Volvo Golf Champions is an excellent chance to showcase everything we do, in what is, for us, a key market in a rapidly developing economy. It is a unique opportunity, not only to highlight our products, our brands and our values, but also to engage with key customers and clients before, during and after the game. Our events are invariably centred around our customers who share our passion for golf, the players whose support for our tournaments has remained steadfast over two generations and the spectators who help generate an inspiring atmosphere and colourful backdrop to the Volvo Golf Champions. Once again, welcome and enjoy!
Olof Persson President AB Volvo and CEO Volvo Group
Welcome from Stefan Jacoby,
President and CEO, Volvo Car Corporation On behalf of the Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Car South Africa, it is my great pleasure to welcome everyone here to Fancourt and the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions. Volvo has a rich and truly remarkable history in professional golf and we are rightly proud of the contribution we have made, and still make, to the development of the game; 75 events on the European Tour alone amply demonstrates Volvo’s passion and performance over a generation and more. At the same time, our sponsorship continues to be a strong component in our marketing mix. We have always taken great pride in our bespoke championships and this week’s Volvo Golf Champions is exactly that, a truly special event, created by Volvo. So, in keeping with our global brand strategy, I hope you will find this ‘Tournament of Champions’ to be ‘Designed Around You.’ I am confident that Bram van der Reep, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa and his team will extend the warmest of welcomes on behalf of Volvo Cars and do everything to make this world class event, for every single person involved in the Volvo Golf Champions – especially the players, spectators, sponsors and the media – a truly world class experience. Finally, I should like to make special mention of and give a warm welcome to our club golfers from all over the world who have qualified for the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge. I’m certain that you will worthily represent your country, and your Volvo ‘team’ back home, and I say ‘good luck,’ but most of all, ‘enjoy.’
Stefan Jacoby President and CEO Volvo Car Corporation
Welcome from Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management It is my pleasure to welcome everyone here to the magnificent Links at Fancourt, located on the Garden Route where the emphasis is on supreme quality, both on and off the golf course. Volvo is delighted to bring the Volvo Golf Champions, one of the real flagship events on The European Tour International Schedule, to Africa’s premier golfing resort. The 2012 Volvo Golf Champions is the first true ‘Tournament of Champions’ on the European Tour, so the qualification criteria are simple – the only way to get in was to win on the tour in 2011 or to be a 10-times or more champion. This is Volvo’s 125th title sponsorship in professional golf and our 75th in partnership with The European Tour, something that is really worth celebrating. We are passionate about golf as a key component in our marketing mix, not only in supporting the portfolio of prestigious professional events, but also for customers and prospective clients taking part in the Volvo World Golf Challenge. The World Final of this global tournament runs concurrently with the Volvo Golf Champions. Indeed, the two events overlap on Friday as Volvo’s innovative and ground-breaking concept, ‘Playing with the Pros,’ sees professionals and Volvo customers teaming-up to play championship golf, live on worldwide TV, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for club golfers. This is Volvo in Golf’s first visit to South Africa and the strength and sincerity of South Africa’s hospitality has been truly remarkable and we hope to repay you this week with what promises to be an exciting Volvo Golf Champions. To the players, I say, ‘Play Well,’ and to everyone else, ‘Enjoy.’
Per Ericsson President Volvo Event Management
Welcome from Kerrin Titmas, CEO, Fancourt
It is a great pleasure to welcome all local and international visitors to Fancourt and The Links, and to experience the splendour that the Fancourt facilities have to offer within the most idyllic setting in South Africa, The Garden Route. Fancourt is very proud to have been selected as the host venue for the Volvo Golf Champions as it not only pays testament to the world-class facilities that have been created as the vision of our owners, Hasso and Sabine Plattner, but also gives South Africans the opportunity to see the finest field of European Tour Champions ever assembled on African soil. From an International perspective, this event provides the opportunity to showcase our country and the spectacular Garden Route region to a worldwide audience who will see the splendour that our country has to offer in terms of infrastructure, breathtaking beauty and good South African hospitality. The Links recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and has received much acclaim in the last year, being ranked the number one golf course in South Africa, whilst at the same time receiving international AUDUBON certification for its environmental management programmes in protecting natural resources and preserving and enhancing the wildlife habitat. This week, though, will see The Links providing a stern challenge to an exceptional field of international golfing talent, and we look forward to hosting a fantastic week of golf and relaxation for all.
Kerrin Titmas CEO Fancourt
Welcome from Guy Kinnings,
Senior Vice President, Global Co-Managing Director – IMG Golf We are delighted to welcome you to the Volvo Golf Champions. This is the first time a tournament has gathered the previous season’s European Tour winners together along with the elite group who have won 10 or more titles and we are looking forward to watching some world-class golf from this elite field of champions. We are delighted to be here at the outstanding Fancourt Golf Resort and excited to see how Europe’s best tackle the world-famous Links course, aptly designed by South Africa’s most successful golfer, Gary Player. The Volvo Golf Champions is an extension of our partnership with Volvo, one of the most prolific and longest-serving sponsors in golf. Volvo, with whom we are delighted to work on the Volvo World Match Play Championship, have again demonstrated their values of innovation in seeking to create this original concept with The European Tour and ourselves. We have devised a unique qualification criteria guaranteed to ensure this tournament stands out on The European Tour schedule. IMG have been long-term supporters of The European Tour, having staged more than 250 European Tour events over the past 47 years. Coupled with Volvo’s experience and commitment to golf over the past 20-plus years, we are proud to have collaborated on this tournament and with the entry of so many of Europe’s best players we look forward to an excellent week of world-class golf. We are particularly grateful to Fancourt for their enthusiasm and assistance in the build-up to the event which has been invaluable to our preparations. We feel sure that the Volvo Golf Champions will provide a very successful platform to showcase all the wonderful facilities that Fancourt has to offer to the global golfing audience. Finally, thanks to you the spectators for coming along to be a part of the Volvo Golf Champions. We hope you enjoy the experience and enjoy watching some wonderful golf. May I also take this opportunity to wish all the professional and amateur golfers competing here this week the very best of luck.
Guy Kinnings, Senior Vice President, Global Co-Managing Director – IMG Golf
E U R O P E A N
T O U R
TESTED AGAIN AND AGAIN, THE CHALLENGE IS CONSTANT. FROM COURSE TO COURSE, AMID DRIVING WINDS ONE WEEK AND SCORCHING SUN THE NEXT, PLAYERS LIVE BY DESIRE, WITH NO TIME FOR REST. FOR
5 0 W E E K S , T H E Y G O H E A D -T O - H E A D ACROSS EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST, ASIA AND AFR IC A . PER SE VER ANCE M ATCHED ONLY BY THE GLORY OF VICTORY.
OYSTER PERPETUAL DAY-DATE II IN PL ATINUM
Welcome from George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive, The European Tour There has been much for The European Tour to celebrate over the past 12 months and as we embark on another new season, the Volvo Golf Champions is a perfect opportunity for us to reflect on a remarkable 2011. Only Members who won an event on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule, and those current Members who have won 10 or more career titles, are eligible for the second edition of this event, making it a true ‘tournament of champions’. Fittingly, our new host venue, the magnificent Links at Fancourt, was designed by one of our great champions, the legendary Gary Player, whose own achievements have inspired so many of our present day European Tour winners, including a fine new generation of South Africans, who are in the field this week. As well as many of our great champions, we are also fortunate to have one of our strongest sponsors on board this week, with Volvo supporting their 75th European Tour event. With two more Volvobacked events to come in 2012 – the Volvo China Open and the Volvo World Match Play Championship – we can continue to look forward to a prosperous future together as we discover tomorrow’s champions. Our sincere gratitude goes to Volvo for their long-term support of The European Tour and to promoter IMG for their sustained association with us and important role in staging the Volvo Golf Champions. We also thank the Sunshine Tour and its Chairman Johan Rupert, with whom we have a long and successful relationship, for making us feel so welcome in all of our visits to South Africa and especially so this week. To all the staff and officials at The Links at Fancourt, to the spectators and to everyone else involved in the second edition of the Volvo Golf Champions, we hope you enjoy this proud celebration of The European Tour’s Champions.
George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive, The European Tour
VGC Sponsor page_VGC Spronsors page.qxd 06/01/2012 16:32 Page 1
sponsorâ€™s acknowledgements We would like to thank the following companies for their support of the Volvo Golf Champions
VOLVO GOLF CHAMPIONS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Wednesday: Pro Am 07:30 – 08:30 Limited practice Gates Open: 07:00 – 16:00 Approx. tee times: 10:30 (two-tee start) Approx. end of play: 18:00 Thursday: Round 1 of the Volvo Golf Champions Gates Open: 08:00 -18:00 Approx. first tee time: 9:40 (one tee start only) Approx. end of play: 17:00 Volvo Media Dinner: 20:00 Friday:
Round 2 of the Volvo Golf Champions including the Volvo Golf Champions Amateur-Pro Team Competition Gates Open: 06:30 - 19:00 Approx. first tee time 08:40 (one tee start only) Approx. end of play 17:00
Saturday: Round 3 of the Volvo Golf Champions Gates Open: 08:00 -18:00 Approx. first tee time 9:40 (one tee start only) Approx. end of play 18:00 Sunday: Final Round of the Volvo Golf Champions Gates Open: 08:00 -18:00 Approx. first tee time 9:40 (one tee start only) Approx. end of play 17:00 Prize-giving Ceremony
All timings are subject to change.
The Tournament of Champions The Volvo Golf Champions is the European Tour’s own ‘Tournament of Champions’ and this year takes place at the fabulous Fancourt Golf Resort situated on the famous Garden Route. Following last year’s inaugural Tournament, which was superbly won by England’s Paul Casey, this year’s event will be a true ‘Tournament of Champions’ featuring only players who won during last year’s European Tour schedule and players from an exclusive group who have ten or more European Tour career victories. Fancourt is recognised as one of the world’s leading golf resorts, boasting three fantastic golf courses all originally designed by the legendary Gary Player
and all ranked within the top 20 in South Africa. However, it is the challenging Links course, ranked South Africa’s best golf course and considered to be one of Player’s very best and awe-inspiring designs, that hosts this week’s Volvo Golf Champions. For those who have not seen or played The Links it is a truly breathtaking facility. The Championship will be contested over 72 holes, with all participants playing four rounds (there will be no 36 hole cut). Total prize money increases to €2million (Approx. ZAR20million) with €350,000 (Approx. ZAR3.5million) going to the winner.* On Friday the Volvo
World Golf Challenge ‘World Finalists’ will play in the Tournament, with one amateur playing with two professionals in each group. The professionals will continue to play individual strokeplay format, while the amateurs will play in a team competition with both professionals in their group forming their team. The best two scores of the three team members on each hole will count towards the team total. All in all, The Links at Fancourt is set to host a memorable tournament full of champions. * Figures are based on a 40-player field and are subject to change.
The Stage is set to crown the Champion of Champions A
N elite field is primed and in position at one of the finest golf courses on the planet, which has been manicured to perfection in anticipation of the Volvo Golf Champions – the first ‘Tournament of Champions’ in European Tour history. Featuring winners from last season’s European Tour International
Schedule and players with more than ten European titles to their name, the winner of this year’s Volvo Golf Champions will have to overcome the cream of European golf in order to walk away with the trophy. The elite field includes no fewer than eight Major champions with some 14 Grand Slam titles between them, while the increasingly strong
international makeup of The European Tour is highlighted by the number of winners representing every corner of the globe here at Fancourt. A supremely talented South African contingent includes 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen. Oosthuizen, whose home course at Mossel Bay is only 40km from Fancourt, is looking forward to locking
horns with his fellow champions after qualifying by winning the Africa Open last January. “It’s a real honour to have the event on the Western Cape and, of course, all the South African boys will be going all out to win it,” said the graduate from the Fancourt-based Ernie Els Foundation. “If I were to win the Volvo Golf Champions, it would be the closest event I had won to my home.” Oosthuizen will be joined by fellow South African Major winners Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel while Thomas Aiken, Garth Mulroy and Hennie Otto all booked their places in the field with victories last season. Els is one of South Africa’s finest exports with three Majors, 26 European Tour titles (including a record seven World Match Play Championships) and 18 US PGA Tour titles to his name. Goosen, who won the South African Open Championship when it was staged here at The Links at Fancourt in 2006, has won two US Opens – in 2001 and 2004.
Esteemed list The newest addition to the esteemed list of South African Major winners is Schwartzel who compiled an astonishing four-birdie finish to win the Masters Tournament last April. “The Volvo Golf Champions is a very prestigious tournament and it’s a huge compliment that Volvo has chosen to move the event to South Africa,” said Schwartzel. “Fancourt will provide a fantastic showcase for all the wonderful assets South Africa has to offer. I spend so much of my year travelling around the world that I relish the opportunity to play in front of my home fans. In fact, I have won four of my seven professional titles in South Africa so the fans obviously give me a great home advantage, which hopefully will help me.” While the South Africans can count on the backing of the partisan home fans, the Europeans cannot be
overlooked, with Denmark’s Thomas Björn arriving fresh off the back of his most successful season to date. Björn is a player who qualifies in both categories having won three times on The European Tour last year to take his career tally to 13. “I’m really looking forward, as I’m sure are the rest of the players who are eligible, for what is a great addition to The European Tour schedule – the first edition of our Tournament of Champions,” said Björn, who won in Qatar, Switzerland and Scotland in 2011. “I hope I can kick-start my year at Fancourt in a similar way to last year when I won the Commercialbank Qatar Masters early in the season.” The legendary José Maria Olazábal – winner of two Masters Tournaments and the 2012 European Ryder Cup Captain – makes the field this week courtesy of his 23 European Tour titles while another Spaniard teeing it up is
the evergreen Miguel Angel Jiménez. The 47-year-old has won 11 of his 18 titles since turning 40 and was runner-up in the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions last season. Sadly defending champion Paul Casey was forced to withdraw from the tournament after dislocating his right shoulder while snowboarding during the winter break. "I am very frustrated as I was really looking forward to getting off to a fast start in 2012," said Casey. "I'm disappointed to miss out on defending my title at the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa in January and also the entire Middle East Swing." However, despite Casey's absence a strong British contingent is spearheaded by Northern Ireland’s 14 time European Tour winner Darren Clarke who thrilled the golfing world with victory at a wet and windy 140th Open Championship at Royal St 4
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George’s last year. Clarke’s compatriot Michael Hoey also showed his prowess on the links in winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. One player whose name is synonymous with that of Volvo is Scottish legend Colin Montgomerie. The 2010 Ryder Cup Captain has won nine Volvo-sponsored tournaments on The European Tour, including three PGA Championships in a row from 1998-2000 at Wentworth Club. “I had a disappointing season on the golf course last year so I’m hoping for a strong start to my 2012 campaign at the Volvo Golf Champions to set the tone for the rest of the year,” said Montgomerie. Fellow Scotsman Paul Lawrie, winner of the memorable 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, secured his place in the field with a stunning return to form last year that saw him claim his first title in eight years at the Open de Andalucia de Golf while England’s Simon Dyson enjoyed a fabulous 2011 season with two victories to book his spot. The Brit Pack also includes first time winners on The European Tour last year – Lee
“I’m hoping for a strong start to my 2012 campaign at the Volvo Golf Champions to set the tone for the rest of the year.” – Colin Montgomerie Slattery, Robert Rock, Oliver Fisher and Tom Lewis. Young starlet Lewis, who won in only his third start as a professional at the 2011 Portugal Masters, is joined by fellow wonder kid Matteo Manassero of Italy. Manassero won his first title in Spain in 2010 becoming, at 17 years and 188 days, the youngest ever winner on The European Tour, before picking up his second title at the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open. Irishman Pádraig Harrington, who won a stunning sequence of three
Above: Nicolas Colsaerts celebrates winning the 2011 Volvo China Open while young stars Tom Lewis (above right) and Matteo Manassero (right) also won on The European Tour last season.
Majors over a two year period from 2007-2008 to take his European Tour tally to 14, will be among the star attractions this week. As will 11 time winner Robert Karlsson of Sweden, while big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who earned his spot with a maiden European Tour victory at the prestigious Volvo China Open, is sure to thrill the Fancourt crowds. With such an array of global stars on show, the battle to be crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ is sure to provide a truly memorable and captivating spectacle. n
Why South Africa is currently King of the Swingers E
ver since 1996, the sunshine of the South African summer has been the flavour of the early months of the year, not only for home players but also for European Tour members who migrate south for competitive golf. Two events became three in 2007 with the addition of the Joburg Open, then three became four with the addition of the Africa Open in 2010, and now, even excluding the long-established pre-Christmas Nedbank Golf Challenge, South Africa hosts more European Tour events than any other country. Mike Wilson charts the development of the South African Swing – which is strengthened by the Volvo Golf Champions this week, the first soleysanctioned European Tour event of the 2012 season – and finds out why South African success in 21 of the 31 ‘home’ tournaments in the new Millennium has played a key role in keeping the stakeholders satisfied.
2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel (left) and 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen spearhead the new breed of South African success.
n the weird and wonderful world of international golf, geography and chronology seem to count for little as The European Tour criss-crosses the globe with its international odyssey reaching 24 different countries and 50 per cent of the schedule taking place outside of Europe. The Nedbank Million Dollar Challenge has been the bedrock – a global showcase for South African golf for 30 years and counting, with a dozen winners from Southern Africa, including hat-trick heroes David Frost and Ernie Els. “Home success has been vital, not only in maintaining South Africa’s portfolio of high-profile, prestigious events, but even more so in adding the Joburg Open, then the Africa Open and now the Volvo Golf Champions,” said Louis Martin, former commissioner of the Sunshine Tour and ex-Asian Tour CEO, at last year’s Nedbank Challenge, which was won by Lee Westwood by two shots.
Home Winners The die was cast as early as 2001 when Mark McNulty won the South African Open, followed by Tim Clark in 2003, a Trevor Immelman double in 2003 and 2004, Clark again in 2005 before Retief Goosen took the title here at Fancourt in 2006. Indeed, only Scotland’s Richie Ramsey prevented a clean sweep of ‘home’ winners between 2001 and 2011 with Hennie Otto claiming the title last season to secure his place in the €2 million Volvo Golf Champions. “For sure, South African success in our national open has been important and I’m especially proud of my win over the Links at Fancourt by a shot from Ernie Els,” said Retief Goosen recently. “The quality of the fields has improved considerably over time, with top world golfers of the calibre of Lee Westwood, Angel Cabrera, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy all coming down here to play, and yet the South Africans have more than held their own.” Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management, explains that the decision to bring The European Tour’s ‘Tournament of Champions’ to South Africa – and 4
Ernie Els walks off the 15th green during the final round of the 2006 South African Open at Fancourt.
Fancourt – was an easy one to make. “Volvo has always taken its iconic events to similarly iconic destinations – Valderrama, Finca Cortesín, Wentworth, Turnberry – so The Links at Fancourt fits the bill in every way,” he says, “and South African golfers are great ambassadors for their country and their sport, which makes marketing the event much stronger and gives the home fans something to really cheer about. “It’s Volvo’s 125th event. We are the only ever-present title sponsor in the modern era of The European Tour, and the Volvo Golf Champions is a great way to celebrate this milestone.” Meanwhile, with three ‘home’ wins in five years at the Joburg Open (including back-to-back wins for
Charl Schwartzel in 2010 and 2011); four out of four in the Africa Open; five wins in 13 years in the Alfred Dunhill Championship (including South African-born Justin Rose); and a return of eight Majors for South Africans so far in the 21st Century, more good news is expected for South African golf this year. South Africa’s most recent Major winners, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel both defended their titles at the Africa Open and Joburg Open respectively before teeing it up here at the Volvo Golf Champions. Just like the drives of Volvo Golf Champions home favourites Goosen and Schwartzel, the South African Swing looks like getting longer and longer. n
Retief Goosen wins the 2006 South African Open at Fancourt.
Hennie Otto celebrates his victory at last season’s SA Open Championship at Serengeti Golf Club.
olvo and golf celebrate their ‘Silver Anniversary’ this year, with the Volvo Golf Champions the 125th title sponsorship under the Swedish brand’s award-winning stewardship. Like the literal Latin translation of Volvo ‘I Roll,’ there is a seemingly unstoppable momentum to the most enduring relationship in global golf. The date was Thursday, 27th May, 1988, the venue the Wentworth Club near London, the occasion, the inaugural Volvo PGA Championship, the debut of a sponsor that is widely-credited with changing the face – and the fortunes – of European golf.
Volvo in Golf
– a Hand-in-Glove Partnership
Highlight It was not only the glittering array of new golf championships, including the Volvo Masters, for 21 years the end-of-season Tour Championship and forerunner to the Dubai World Championship, but also the Volvo Order of Merit, which preceded today’s Race to Dubai. Vastly increased prize money added to innovative player services such as courtesy cars, world-class practice facilities and players’ lounges, all taken very much for granted today, highlight Volvo’s contribution to golf. Back then, a seven-month season, almost exclusively in Europe, offered prize money of under €10million. This year, a 50-week, 52-event season spanning the globe with prize money of almost €150million.
Attractions The man whose name was inexorably linked with Volvo’s award-winning golf sponsorship, Colin Montgomerie, OBE, winning Ryder Cup captain and one of the star attractions at this year’s Volvo Golf Champions says: “We, The European Tour and the players, owe Volvo a huge debt of gratitude for their contribution to golf, now in Africa, Europe and also in Asia. “Volvo gave The European Tour stability and credibility through their 4
many events such as the Volvo PGA Championship and together with their backing for the Volvo Order of Merit they also attracted many other bluechip brands into our sport.” By the mid-1990s, with Volvo’s European Tour engine running smoothly, the brand looked east, to Asia in general and China in particular, becoming the first western brand to engage with golf in the Middle Kingdom and rolling-out a pan-Asian programme to mirror its European initiative. This year’s Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt takes the total number of professional golf events under Volvo’s sponsorship to 125, and counting, with the iconic Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín in May Volvo’s third event of the 2012 season, following April’s Volvo China Open. “Volvo is proud to be the only
ever-present title sponsor on the European Tour,” says Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management. “We continually monitor our return on investment and it is clear that golf continues, after 24 highly-successful years, to deliver the results we require.”
Million But there is a second string to Volvo’s golfing bow. For 25 years it has organised a worldwide amateur golf series – formerly the Volvo Masters Amateur, now the Volvo World Golf Challenge – with almost a million club golfers from 30 different nations having taken part. “Our amateur golf programme is truly unique,” insists Per Ericsson, explaining, “Volvo is the only big brand that ties its amateur and professional events together. Our world finalists in the Volvo World Golf Challenge will play with the professionals on the
Friday of the Volvo Golf Champions, on the European Tour and live on worldwide TV, after having played their own World Final over the sister course of The Links, the demanding Montagu Course at Fancourt.” Meanwhile, with golf now an Olympic sport, from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and beyond, Per Ericsson sees significant opportunities. “Golf is growing in countries such as China, where Volvo is already the leading golf sponsor,” he says, “and in places such as India, Russia and Brazil and at Volvo, we can make business through people’s passion for golf – a sport played by a great many of our customers and prospective clients.” South Africa may be a new destination for Volvo in Golf but it’s business as usual – rolling out another world-class golf championship for Volvo, the Tour and its players to be proud of. n
S S A L C WORLD NCE A M R O F PER
VOLVO IN GOLF - a true moment
Volvo’s Ultimate Challenge
he promotion of Volvo as a brand saw it closely connected with amateur golf way before its involvement with the professional game. In some European markets, the Volvo Masters Amateur, which has subsequently evolved into today’s Volvo World Golf Challenge, was a firm favourite well in advance of the high-profile sponsorship of the Volvo PGA Championship and the Volvo Masters. Now, in 2012, Volvo is proud to sponsor and organise three prestigious and globally important events – the Volvo China Open and the iconic Volvo World Match Play Championship, and here in South Africa for the first time, the Volvo Golf Champions. As Volvo’s profile becomes evermore closely linked with the sport, a constantly increasing number of countries are taking advantage of the opportunities presented by golf. And under the umbrella of the Volvo World Golf Challenge, every continent in the world is now involved. Indeed, over
the 25 years of its existence, almost a million club golfers have taken part across 30 different countries. This year alone, in the region of 50,000 golfers have played more than 100,000 rounds of golf – all with the ultimate prize at stake, a place in the World Final at Fancourt this week.
Lasting Relationships “Volvo’s professional golf portfolio provides a global shop window for the Volvo brand and its range of products,” explains Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management. “But our worldwide programme for club golfers is where the business is really done, building lasting relationships with customers and prospective clients through the universal language of golf.” Whilst a great many premium brands use golf as a conduit through which to talk to their customers, Volvo takes this to a whole new level by using one of its prestigious professional championships as the backdrop for the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge. “Linking the two strands of our golf portfolio
gives us a unique dimension and enables us to afford our customers a truly world-class experience,” says Ericsson. “In selecting the venue for the Volvo Golf Champions, we also wanted a location that was suitable for the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge which is being staged simultaneously. “Volvo’s leading amateur golfers can also enjoy the sporting experience of a lifetime by playing alongside the stars of The European Tour for one day, live on worldwide TV.” The World Final is a celebration of international sport where club golfers from many different nations get the opportunity not only to play together in competition, but also to make new friends from all over the world and enjoy a wide variety of exciting and stimulating activities that are unique to the host nation. The 36-hole World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge takes place over the magnificent Montagu Course on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th January 2012. n
Playing with the Pros The Experience of a Lifetime
ntil quite recently, just about the only chance that amateurs have had to play alongside their golfing heroes has been during the Pro-Am that precedes each Tour event. Now, however, Volvo has taken this to a whole new level by creating the chance to actually Play with the Pros throughout one of the days of their tournament, broadcast live worldwide, in the heat of combat, when every shot counts and when every putt can make the difference. In 2011, for the first time on The European Tour, amateurs from the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge enjoyed the thrill of playing alongside two leading Professionals competing concurrently in the Volvo Golf Champions, in the Amateur-Pro Team Competition. This format will be repeated on Friday at Fancourt, with the top finishers from the World Final each competing over the stunning Links Course, rated by South Africaâ€™s Golf Digest as the finest course in the country.
Competition This is way beyond anything that a normal Pro-Am can offer. In Playing With The Pros, each of the leading finishers from the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge Final, played concurrently over the neighbouring Montagu Course, will team up with two leading Professionals to form a 3-ball and play in the Amateur-Pro Team Competition. The best two scores at each hole will count, and such is the importance placed on this competition that the two Pros in the winning team will each win a brand new Volvo. Whilst the rules regarding amateur status mean that the same prize
cannot be offered to their amateur partner, for the qualifiers from the Volvo World Golf Challenge, the thrill of taking part in this truly unique event is an even greater prize. Last year, the winner was Kevin Aherne, a 4-handicapper from Woburn Golf Club, representing Volvo Cars UK. He was drawn to play with Paul Casey and Darren Clarke, and together they ended up winning the Amateur-Pro Challenge with Paul subsequently
capturing the main event – the Volvo Golf Champions – and with Darren going on to win his first major, The Open Championship at Royal St George’s. For Kevin, it was “… just the best experience of my life.” So, when this tournament is over and you are back home, what will you be doing to get to the next World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge and to get a chance of Playing With The Pros? n
Left page: Darren Clarke shares a joke with his playing partner, Kevin Aherne, during 'Playing with the Pros'. Above left: Sergio García congratulates his playing partner after they finish their round in 'Playing with the Pros'. Above: One participant shows his appreciation during the Volvo World Golf Challenge. Below: Per Ericsson, President Volvo Event Management, Darren Clarke, Paul Casey and their amateur playing partner and winner Kevin Aherne.
fancourt – an ecological choice for volvo golf champions
hilst the natural assumption amongst the majority of outside observers is that golf must be green – after all, it is played on swathes of verdant and perfectly-manicured countryside – the sport has been upping its environmental game in recent years as it seeks to establish ecological credentials fit for the 21st century. This week, Volvo, whose commitment to sustainability is recognised the world over, joins forces with Fancourt, one of only two golf courses in South Africa currently accredited to the highest environmental standards, to stage the The European Tour’s ‘Tournament of Champions.’ Five years ago, Golf Digest conducted research in the USA, asking 350 golfers and 650 non-golfers about the game’s environmental credentials, through one thousand ten-minute telephone interviews. The results were remarkable and revealing. While 91% of golfers believed their game was “Environmentally-friendly,” only 66%
of non-golfers agreed. Meanwhile, 40% of golfers believed using pesticides to be environmentally unsuitable, compared to 66% of non-golfers, of whom 56% agreed with water rationing in comparison with 44% of golfers. Those figures summed up the challenges facing golf and the environment.
Biodiversity As environmental issues came more to the fore, golf found itself in the spotlight of scrutiny over issues of biodiversity, water use, pesticides, energy, recycling, protection of flora and fauna and land use. In fact, the full gamut of the game’s green footprint. Golf’s global administrators saw the green writing on the wall. The R&A, the USGA and The European Tour, a prime mover in setting-up the ground-breaking Golf Environment Organisation (GEO). They anticipated the forthcoming situation and joined forces for the good of the game. “In its simplest form, sustainable golf development is golf development that can endure,” says GEO Chief
Executive Jonathan Smith. “It is determined by golf’s own ability to continually multiply net gains to shareholders, stakeholders and the environment, and is directly influenced by wider social, economic and environmental processes.” European Tour Chief Executive, George O’Grady, said: “As founding partners of GEO, we are delighted to see their customised guidance, programmes and its Ecolabel gaining momentum and we congratulate St Andrews Links Trust on their commitment and achievement.” GEO may not be reaching the turn, but it has garnered support from within and outside golf. Blue-chip business backers such as Rolex and UPS, The R&A, The European Tour and The Ryder Cup, along with global associations representing golf course owners, managers, designers and greenkeepers, the PGAs of Europe, the European Golf Association, NGOs, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and golf associations and federations around the world have rallied to the cause.
Meanwhile, Audubon International, formed in the USA in 1987 to ‘work to protect land, water, wildlife, golf courses, hotels, and other developments,’ had a significant head start on the GEO. Its various programmes, including the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, put them ahead of the game.
(Left) Open Billed Stork, (Middle) Spotted Eagle Owl, (Bottom) Leopard Tortoise.
Challenge The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is where Fancourt comes in. All three courses – The Links, which stages the Volvo Golf Champions, the Montagu, South Africa’s seventh-best course where the World Final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge will be staged and the Outeniqua course, all achieved Audubon’s highest accolade – Sanctuary Status – in 2010. Fancourt’s campaign to achieve the prestigious ‘Sanctuary’ award was led by Spencer Cooper, Course Superintendent at The Links, who, just a dozen years after Gary Player had miraculously designed the site from a disused airfield and following three years of intensive environmental work, secured the allimportant green award. “The Links team feels honoured to have received this coveted
certification and trust it will go a long way in demonstrating that, if constructed and managed properly, a golf course can have a positive impact on the environment,” said Cooper. “We will continue to do all
we can to improve and preserve our eco-system for generations to come.” South African golf legend Gary Player, creator of more than 300 courses in 35 different countries, says: “As golf course designers and builders we have a responsibility to create projects that are gifts to nature. Environmental concerns must be identified and addressed in the design phase, well before any construction begins and we must never forget to respect the land, its natural beauty and bio-diversity. “The design industry needs to take a hard look at itself and realise that sustainability is here to stay. Saying you have an environmentally friendly course is a nice marketing ploy, but what happens when the regulators, the surrounding communities and environmental groups take a close look at your design and work,” says the nine-time Major champion. “Claiming you are sustainable and actually producing an environmentally friendly project are two very different things.” Meanwhile, for Volvo in Golf, the choice of an environmentallycertificated course for its portfolio of
high-profile events is an important consideration, especially as Volvo promotes the annual Volvo Environment Prize – going into its 23rd year – considered by many to be the ‘Seventh unofficial Nobel prize,’ and certainly the flagship award in the environmental calendar. “We choose to take our events to particular territories largely for commercial reasons,” says Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management – Golf. “But once we have established the country of choice, different factors come into play, including the calibre of the course and its infrastructure and the test it sets to the best players in the world – and right up there is its environmental credentials. “The Volvo Masters was, for many years, staged at Valderrama, a pioneer in the partnership between golf and its environment, and we took the Volvo China Open to another Gary Player-designed course, Jinji Lake in Suzhou, which has just received its GEO Certification, and now we are very, very comfortable at Fancourt, which reflects Volvo’s commitment not only to quality but also to
environmental care.” Fancourt’s Audubon Certification Document reveals that the birdies and eagles will not be the exclusive property of the ‘Champions-all’ field competing this week. There are more than 120 different species of birds indigenous to the 613-hectare Fancourt estate, including the elegantly-named Green, Red-billed Wood-Hoopoe, the Spotted Eagle Owl, the melodic Chorister Robin-Chat, the tiny but fearsomesounding Brimstone Bully Canary and the exotic Buff-spotted Flufftail.
Endangered Species Meanwhile, Fancourt is home to a remarkable range of mammals, ranging from Vervet Monkey, prickly Porcupine, Mongoose, Grysbok and Otters. Three endangered species of Tortoise, the Leopard, Bowsprit and Speckled have found sanctuary at Fancourt, as do snakes such as Puff Adders, Cape Serotine Bat, Common Slit-faced Bat and the Geoffrey’s Horseshoe Bat. Out on The Links are Perennial Rye, Chewing’s Fescue, Red Creeping Fescue and Colonial Bent
Grass, and on the verdant greens Penn A4 Bent Grass, all selected because of their durability and low maintenance. Aquatic plants ensure the venue’s famed Wetlands live and breathe, whilst at the same time providing vital cover – and food – for Fancourt’s fauna. “The Fancourt Links course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program,” said Joellen Lampman, Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program’s Director. “They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property.” But Fancourt’s wildlife is only a fraction of its drive for the green agenda. Throughout the estate, including the Fancourt Hotel, the refurbished 140-year-old Manor House, the Spa and restaurants are all tasked with reducing the carbon footprint. Fancourt CEO Kerrin Titmas encourages a top-down approach, too, saying, “We want to do this, not because we are told to, but because we want to, because it’s the right thing to do.” n
George and the Western Cape – beauty and adventure await
ith an average temperature of around 71° throughout the year, George in the Western Cape of South Africa offers the ideal climate for tourists looking to do things a little differently. George is the sixth oldest town in South Africa and is the Capital of the Southern Cape. Conveniently placed on a 10km plateau between the majestic Outeniqua Mountain to the north and the Indian Ocean to the South, George is halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in the middle of the Garden Route and is in an ideal location to explore the area’s many scenic wonders. There are several excellent hiking trails, ranging from a one-hour walk
along the Wilderness Lagoon which is rich in bird life, to a variety of day walks in the mountains, along rivers or through cool forests. Longer hikes include the five-day Otter Trail along the Tsitsikamma coast and the seven-day Outeniqua Trail, regarded as one of the toughest in the country.
Adventurer’s Paradise For the adrenalin junkies among us there are forests, beaches and mountain ranges where you can choose from a wide variety of extreme activities – paradise for any adventurer! Be challenged by the world’s highest bungee jump and abseil sites, go riding on an ostrich, try cage diving with sharks, or black water tubing, aqua sports, 4x4 routes,
paragliding, yachting and many more activities for thrill seekers. Off the coast and into the Indian Ocean is a great location to watch whales and sharks in their natural habitat. Southern rights whales visit the bay from June to November, and migratory humpback whales can also be briefly seen between May and June and then, on their return trip, from November to January. The Garden Route generally, from Stilbaai through Mossel Bay and on to George, Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma, is a magnificent stretch of coastline and if you venture further west it’s highly likely you could run into one of the most exciting mammals on the planet – the great white shark. If you’re more interested in staying
closer to the coast, donning a wetsuit and catching some waves then you have come to the right place because the surf is excellent. You’re likely to find good surf all year round with the best time during the winter months of June to August. Sometimes a simple drive along a coastal road will show you where the good surf is. George has many historical landmarks, including the Slave Tree, an ancient English Oak planted by Landdrost van Kervel. It was declared a national monument and was named the Slave Tree because there is a large chain and lock embedded in its trunk. Urban legend has it that slaves were chained to this tree, but in actual fact a lawn roller for the local law court was chained to the tree –
which was planted after the slaves were emancipated. There are museums to explore including the historical George Museum which was built in 1811. It became the Victoria Hotel in 1890 but was acquired by the Municipality to become a museum in 1972 and a new wing was added in 1992.
Historical Sites Other historical sites to visit include the Big Tree at Woodville, a 700-800 year old Outeniqua Yellowwood on the Seven Passes Road and the ‘Patat Huise’, a cottage built in 1813 by the Reverend Pacalt which was declared a National Monument in 1976. The St. Marks Cathedral was consecrated in 1850 and is
considered the smallest cathedral in South Africa while the St Peter and St Paul’s Church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country and features stunning stained glass windows. While all these attractions lie on the ground there is the option to view the town and the region from the comfort of a helicopter. With companies based at George Airport you can be taken on scenic flights over the Swartberg, the Outeniquas and you can personalise your own itinerary to suite your wishes. Experience whale watching, shark viewing and the scenic beauty of the Garden Route. With so much on offer, George and the Western Cape is the ideal destination, whatever your pleasure. n
Duel Fuel Powers Volvo’s Sponsorship Drive F
or 24 years, the Volvo brand has been the powerhouse in global golf, setting the pace in the professional and amateur game – initially in Europe, then in Asia and now, in Africa. While leading the way with worldclass professional tournaments Volvo has also been engaging with customers and clients through their prestigious amateur series, the Volvo World Golf Challenge. What makes Volvo unique, not merely as the only ever-present title sponsor on The European Tour is that, for the past 13 years, Volvo has been two independent businesses: Volvo Car Corporation, and Volvo Group – the heavy automotive conglomerate. Both are headquartered in Volvo’s home city of Gothenburg, Sweden. With both businesses sharing the same broad values of Quality, Safety and Environmental Care they continue to jointly promote the brand under the one sponsorship umbrella, including its award-winning golf portfolio, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Volvo Environment Prize, all of which look set to continue using this tried-andtested hybrid formula. The present day Volvo Cars fleet places the emphasis on understated Scandinavian luxury, designed around the driver. Its cutting edge technology,
such as Pedestrian Detection driving the safety agenda, is as ground breaking as the three-point safety belt was 53 years ago. Sleek, elegant exteriors, innovative driver support systems, such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist and Distance Alert and luxurious interiors that fuse functionality with its many attributes make Volvo cars outstanding vehicles. Having been the Official Car for the Swedish Royal Wedding in 2010 it is a Car fit – figuratively and literally – for a King or Queen.
Across the Volvo Cars line-up, a range of options are designed around you, from the rugged-yet-refined XC Range, the prodigious and practical Estate Range, sumptuous sedans and classy coupes. There’s also the DRIVe option for those with an eye on the environment, plus the more racy R-Design for those with a zest for the best. Over at Volvo Group, trucks, buses, construction machines plus marine and aero engines, have all moved with the times, while drawing on eight decades of experience to deliver the most efficient and cost-effective transport solutions available to operators all over the world. Trucks,4
buses and earth-moving machines may not enjoy the acclaim and attention of the sleek luxurious cars, but, when it comes to everyday life, getting to and from work safely and on time Volvo Group continues to deliver the goods. When Volvo Cars and Volvo Group diverged, the decision was made to continue to jointly-promote the cherished Volvo name and its values. It has continued this promotion, building a relationship revolving around a great global brand and innovative co-sponsorship. With all that, Volvo’s world-class golf programme extended into a second decade and beyond, as did the prestigious Volvo Environment Prize, known as the ‘seventh
unofficial Nobel Prize,’ whilst the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s toughest, roughest round-the-world regatta joined the Volvo family in 2001.
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, presides not only over Volvo’s legacy of 125 elite, professional golf championships sponsored by the Volvo brand, but is also taking Volvo in Golf into a new territory, with this month’s Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt. “Volvo remains in golf for the simple reason that it is a game played and respected by our customers and prospective
clients, not only in the largely retail business-to-consumer sector addressed by Volvo Cars, but also in a business-to-business environment for the benefit of Volvo Group,” says Ericsson. He continues: “Our task at Volvo Event Management is to actively and dynamically promote the Volvo brand and its core values through golf and to provide premium platforms on which marketers at Volvo can leverage both brand awareness and customer engagement using the unique and exclusive opportunities that golf offers.” Of course, over time and like any long term relationship, subtle changes take place as the Volvo
brand keeps pace with the times. Volvo Cars unveiled its new brand strategy late last year, focusing on individualism and bespoke Scandinavian luxury, while Volvo Group extended its ambition to become the world leader in integrated transport solutions by 2020, shifts in emphasis rather than fundamental change. Both are genuinely global and truly innovative with an ongoing passion for and commitment to everything the Volvo brand embraces. Volvo’s all-inclusive engagement with golf – professional and amateur – looks set to thrive and prosper. As the Latin for Volvo says, ‘I roll’ …and roll and roll…n
ast year IMG celebrated 50 years in the business of sports management. Formerly known as the International Management Group, the company was famously founded by Mark McCormack on a handshake with golfing legend Arnold Palmer in 1960. A lawyer by profession, McCormack realised the marketing potential for sports stars in the age of television and quickly added Jack Nicklaus and South Africa’s most famous golfer, Gary Player to his stable. McCormack is credited with founding the sports marketing industry and promoting Palmer, Nicklaus and Player as the ‘Big Three’ of golf. He substantially increased their off course earnings while building the IMG business with special ‘made for television’ events built around this dynamic trio.
- Celebrating 50 successful years
Marketing Appeal After a few years McCormack expanded into tennis using the same successful formula to hasten the growth of the sport and its marketing appeal as it entered the so called ‘open-era in the 1970s. IMG’s client list over the years is a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of sport and includes the likes of Tiger Woods, Björn Borg, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Michael Schumacher, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley and model Kate Moss. IMG also handled special projects for Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II. McCormack died in 2003 leaving a legacy of a thriving sports marketing industry and the global success story of IMG. Building on McCormack’s vision, the company was then bought by Ted Forstmann who helped turn IMG into a global powerhouse. Under his leadership, the company experienced unprecedented growth internationally, transforming IMG from a sports talent agency into a rapidly growing business at the epicentre of sports, fashion and media. Forstmann appointed Mike Dolan as CEO when he was diagnosed with brain cancer last year and Dolan
Arnold Palmer tees off as Gary Player looks on during the 1964 World Match Play Championship.
has continued to build on Forstmann’s vision since he passed away in November, impressing all in the industry. Golf was the foundation stone of IMG and remains a crucial part of the industry leader’s portfolio and, in celebrating their 50 years in the business, has amassed some staggering statistics. IMG Golf has managed more than 300 clients who have, between them, won 128 Major Championships and more than 1500 events in 43 countries. Their clients have made 300 Ryder Cup, Presidents’ Cup and Solheim Cup appearances and held the World Number One ranking for a combined total of more than 20 years and the
PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA and LET money lists have been topped by a total of 78 clients over the years. IMG client Luke Donald, the World Number One, finished 2011 at the top of both The European Tour and US PGA Tour money lists. IMG Golf events have become an integral part of the IMG offering and have staged and promoted more than 750 events in 41 countries and more than 1,000 corporate golf days. These events include the likes of the Volvo Golf Champions, Volvo World Match Play Championship, WGC-HSBC Champions, Ricoh Women’s British Open, HSBC Women’s Champions and The Presidents Cup. The IMG course design business has gone from strength to strength in recent years working all over the world and, to date, have designed 95 courses
IMG founder Mark McCormack talks on the telephone.
in 41 countries with 52 more courses under design or construction. The IMG Golf Course Management team now manage 59 golf development projects in 16 countries with 22 more projects on-going. IMG Academies have produced 30 Tour professionals with four Major wins while 85% of all students gain college scholarships.
Premier IMG Golf consults to the world’s premier golf organisations, including the R&A, and has consulted to numerous international clients on golf strategy sharing their 50 years of experience in the industry. As the media arm of IMG continues to go from strength to strength, European Tour Productions, jointly owned with The European Tour, distributes footage to as many as 500, million households per event and their bespoke golf magazine programme, Golfing World, now reaches approximately 40 broadcast platforms and approximately 400+ million homes after only one year on the air. IMG’s South African offices are a
Last season Luke Donald became the first professional to top both the European and PGA Tour money lists.
key part of the company and, again, golf plays an important part in their business. As well as staging elite events such as this week’s Volvo Golf Champions and managing course design projects such as The Legend Golf and Safari Resort, they also continue to work with Gary Player and manage two-time Major winner, Retief Goosen, and Masters winner Trevor Immelman, servicing global contracts
and liaising with the IMG’s offices in 30 countries world-wide. This week sees a number of IMG’s clients looking to lift the ‘Champion of Champion’s’ title from this elite gathering of Europe’s leading golfers including three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington, eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie, three time winner on the European Tour in 2011, Thomas Björn, French star Thomas Levet and home favourite, double US Open Champion, Goosen. Recruiting golf’s rising stars has always been high on the agenda of the IMG Golf team and two of golf’s most exciting young players are IMG clients – Matteo Manassero, already a two time winner aged 19, and Tom Lewis, who turned professional last autumn and won in only his third professional outing at the 2011 Portugal Masters. They join a bevy of talented 2011 champions from the IMG stable including Alexander Norén, Pablo Larrazábal, Pablo Martin, Oliver Fisher and Raphaël Jacquelin. All will be looking to add this prestigious title to their résumés. n
– Wake up to the dream
ancourt, set in one of South Africa’s most picturesque regions, the Garden Route, is not only renowned as the golfing mecca of South Africa, but also for its spectacular beauty and exquisite landscapes. The Fancourt estate is located on 613 hectares of superbly landscaped lush countryside – only 7km from George Airport with direct flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Once guests have arrived, Fancourt features the very best accommodation that caters to every taste. Guests can choose between the 5-star Fancourt Resort Hotel with all the facilities possible for the most discerning of travellers and families, whilst the butler-serviced Manor House Boutique Hotel offers a unique combination of classic style and 21st Century sophistication – an unsurpassed haven of ultimate luxury in accommodation for the astute traveller. When it comes to dining options Fancourt offers a superb selection of restaurants from the light menu of Morning Glory or the traditional Italian menu of La Cantina to the progressive yet classic menu of Henry White’s.
Whatever your tastes may be, Fancourt offers a wide range of flavours to suit every palette. Fancourt is best known for offering an unforgettable golfing experience, and with three of South Africa’s top 20 golf courses (including the No.1 ranked The Links), it’s not difficult to imagine why. Although all three of Fancourt’s golf courses are original Gary Player designs, he has said on several occasions that The Links has been his greatest achievement worldwide. The Links has consistently ranked among
the top 100 golf courses in the world and has been home to The 2003 President’s Cup and now too, The European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions. Fancourt’s other two golf courses the Montegu and Outeniqua (both parkland courses) offer a unique golfing experience in their own right and are ranked number 7 and 18 respectively in South Africa. These two courses are renowned for their year-round conditioning and with the breathtaking landscape and the surrounding Outeniqua mountains, they present an unforgettable golfing
experience. In addition to the three golf courses, Fancourt boasts an extensive Golf Academy with an array of practice facilities, including the only TaylorMade performance Lab in Africa. Fancourt also offers a wide range of both outdoor and indoor entertainment for the whole family. Some of facilities include: An indulgent health and beauty spa – which incorporates a gymnasium with personal trainer, an unrivalled range of therapies and treatments, a heated Jacuzzi, a Hair Salon and an exclusive ladies fashion boutique. • A jewellery store. • Leisure trails designed with the needs of the outdoor enthusiast in mind. • Mountain biking. • Bird watching. • A Kids Club and Teen lounge. • Tennis courts. • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
watching and the Cango Caves – a national heritage site. There are also numerous national parks and nature reserves that offer a Big Five safari experience for you to enjoy, with the added benefit of being able to view Africa’s famed wildlife in a malaria free environment. For those who cannot get enough of this magnificent area, Fancourt offers a variety of real estate options in the form of both outright and fractional ownership with seven different real estate options that are individually styled for investors to choose from. These include: Colonial Lodges, the
Because of its location, Fancourt also offers guests the perfect opportunity to explore the area’s attractions. The Garden Route has something for everyone including every kind of outdoor activity imaginable such as: scuba diving, surfing, mountain biking, Great White shark cage diving, rafting, sea kayaking, tandem skydiving, paragliding, horse riding, whale
French Provencal-styled Oaklands Village, Cape Dutch, Links Ridge, Links Avenue, Montagu Ridge and Montagu Ridge Villas. Each of these real estate offerings come with not only the lifestyle investment that these exquisite homes bring, but also a family membership to Fancourt. Whether you come to experience three world-class golf courses, or simply to relax and unwind with all there is to do at Fancourt and the spectacular Garden Route, your every pleasure will be attended to with unique attention to detail. n
Charity begins at home
for Volvo Golf Champions
he Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt is not only attracting many of the stars of global golf but also the singing stars of the Choir of the Star for Life charity, which will perform during the European Tour’s ‘Tournament of Champions’. 25% of the total ticket revenue, plus all revenue from Official Souvenir Programme sales will be donated to a good cause, committed to inspiring young people not only to dream, but to realise those dreams in an AIDSfree environment. Founded in 2005, Star for Life is a non-profit making organisation that focuses its efforts on schools as the optimal place for implementation of its ground-breaking initiatives. In just six years, Star for Life has developed a proven track record, based around the concept of HIV/AIDS awareness at an
early age, helping to change attitudes, outlooks, outcomes, opportunities and lives. School projects, mobile health units, Skills for Life, and last but not least, Sports for Life are just some of the hands-on, practical programmes delivered by Star for Life, which is guided by six core values: empowerment, social change, accountability, innovation, partnership and inclusive participation.
Self-esteem At the heart of the matter is helping young South Africans to build and, crucially, sustain selfesteem, enabling them to set goals for their futures and to achieve across a number of different lifestyle ambitions and choices. “Volvo has long been a partner of Star for Life, so it was both logical
and appropriate for the Volvo Golf Champions to join hands with this fantastic charity,” says Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management. “We are delighted to assist in creating additional opportunities for helping benefit young South Africans’ lives, enabling them to identify and realise their dreams and aspirations to the full. “We have many of the stars of global golf playing in our event and given Stars for Life’s objectives in general and its sports programme in particular, this was a perfect fit for us to all work together for the common good.” Star for Life is funded by governments at local, provincial and national level, together with NGOs, the charitable community and South Africa’s corporate sector, who are giving back to the communities they serve. With a small but specialist
and highly motivated team delivering support in Gautang, Kwa-Zulu, Natal and Namibia, Star for Life founder Dan Olofsson is delighted with the collaboration between the charity, Volvo and the Volvo Golf Champions.
Generous Gesture “This is great news for South Africa, for golf and especially for Star for Life,” explained Olofsson. “Donating a quarter of the ticket income is an incredibly generous gesture on behalf of Volvo, and I am certain our young people will be inspired by an event with so many top golf stars, especially their South African heroes.” In addition, in what is sure to be one of the highlights of the Volvo Golf Champions’ South African experience, the Star for Life choir will be performing at the event and two of the Choir’s star singers, Philani Thabethe and Priscilla Thwala, are excited about the opportunity to perform on such an august occasion. “I’m very keen on sports and am really excited by the chance to see some of South Africa’s top golfers,”
said Thabethe. Thwala added: “In South Africa, we love to sing, it’s a great tradition, and although I might be a little bit nervous, I can’t wait to get there to perform.” There can be no better incentive for South African sports fans to come along to Fancourt in record numbers, to see some great golf and support Star for Life – a true ‘win-win’ situation.
Star for Life is a non-profit organisation having a ‘90 account number,’ ensuring donations will be received by the charity without administration fees.
Trophy Hunters F
or each of the 50-plus European Tour championships, there is a trophy, a tangible award to be treasured by the champion for the 12 months of his reign, ranging from the truly traditional to the avant-garde. The Volvo Golf Champions trophy embraces both styles – classic and contemporary and award-winning designer Ludvig Löfgren explains the creative process that results in sheer class in glass. Swedish style, Scandinavian design, two of the hallmarks of the Volvo brand, so when a new trophy was required to be created for the Volvo Golf Champions, it was to another great name in Swedish craftsmanship, Kosta Boda, that Volvo turned and to the award-winning glass artist
is youthful and full of attitude whilst at the same time brutally conscious of what is a truly distinctive design, says: “My approach to glass is sensitive, passionate and patient. I describe atmosphere, depict moods through references both to history and present.“ It was Löfgren’s constant search for a challenge – often resulting in hours of experimenting – that brought the graduate of the world-renowned University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm both perspective and an understanding of glass. “Molten glass enables me to work with sculpture and pictures simultaneously,” he says. “Glass can be seductive, beautiful, soft and compliant to work with, but at same time it can scar you for life.” The commission for
“My main influences are art history, music and pulp fiction – you can find traces of all of that in my designs but I studied the game of golf carefully before embarking on the Volvo Golf Champions commission.” – Ludvig Löfgren Ludwig Löfgren. The first recipient of the Swede’s artistic endeavour was Englishman Paul Casey who won the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions last January. “I love the trophy!” exclaimed Casey after lifting it towards the sky. “I have a very contemporary house so it will fit very nicely in there. There’s a lot of artwork and I’ll find somewhere lovely to put it on display.” Löfgren, whose artistic expression
the Volvo Golf Champions trophy was something out of the ordinary, a new challenge for the man who has recently returned to his native Småland from the metropolitan creative centre of Stockholm. “My brief was that it was a prestigious commission for the new Volvo Golf Champions, and the client allowed me the freedom to interpret and decipher the concept,” says the
man who admits to never having played golf. “I didn’t have the time for it, but it seems very interesting and challenging, although I’m afraid if I tried it I would be stuck. “My main influences are art history, music and pulp fiction – you can find traces of all of that in my designs but I studied the game of golf carefully before embarking on the Volvo Golf Champions commission,” he says. “My
“My process always starts with sketching and after that I go into the hotshop to experiment with my initial idea directly in hot glass.” – Ludvig Löfgren process always starts with sketching and after that I go into the hotshop to experiment with my initial idea directly in the hot glass. “I was pleased. I had quite a free hand and the piece reflects my design ideas, such as colour and a handmade crafted expression. “Glassblowing gives me freedom. I know how the material works and that lets me balance right on the very edge of what is possible.” He describes the Volvo Golf Champions trophy production process as “teamwork,” saying: “I worked with my glassblowing colleagues to create the leaf and to cast the plate. “The trophy was created by both cast glass with gold and freehand sculpted
glass leaf mounted on a handcrafted metal stand. The glass is heated to a temperature of around 1100ºC. When you work with it after that it has to cool down slowly in a cooling oven for 12 hours and only after that you can grind it on a diamond grinder or a cutter.” With the finished piece finally shipped with great care to The Links at Fancourt to await the winner of this week’s Volvo Golf Champions, how close was Löfgren’s creation in reality to his initial idea? “It is quite close to my original vision actually – only small details you realise you have to change when you see it in full scale to get the balance absolutely right. I hope it will be viewed and appreciated as a contemporary and
unique piece of glass art and over time become a truly iconic trophy in which the winner of the Volvo Golf Champions and I can share great pride in our respective achievements.” n
How the players qualified
* The winner of the Joburg Open (January 12-15) will be elible to play if not already qualified.
The following players qualified for the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions as winners of fully sanctioned and co-sanctioned Tournaments on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule: Thomas Aiken – winner of the Open de España.
Pablo Larrazábal – winner of the BMW International Open.
Thomas Björn – winner of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy; the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles; and the Omega European Masters.
Paul Lawrie – winner of the Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines. Thomas Levet – winner of the Alstom Open de France. Tom Lewis – winner of the Portugal Masters.
S.S.P Chowrasia – winner of the Avantha Masters.
Joost Luiten – winner of the Iskandar Johor Open.
Darren Clarke – winner of the Iberdrola Open; and The Open Championship.
Matteo Manassero – winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Nicolas Colsaerts – winner of the Volvo China Open.
Pablo Martín – winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship (Dec 2010).
Simon Dyson – winner of the Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland; and the KLM Open.
Garth Mulroy – winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship (Nov 2011).
Ernie Els – winner of the South African Open Championship.
Alexander Norén – winner of the Saab Wales Open; and the Nordea Masters.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño – winner of The Barclays Singapore Open.
Louis Oosthuizen – winner of the 2011 Africa Open and the 2012 Africa Open.
Kenneth Ferrie – winner of the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness.
Hennie Otto – winner of the South African Open Championship.
Oliver Fisher – winner of the Czech Open.
Robert Rock – winner of the BMW Italian Open.
Michael Hoey – winner of the Madeira Islands Open; and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Charl Schwartzel – winner of the Joburg Open and The Masters Tournament.
David Horsey – winner of the Trophée Hassan II.
Lee Slattery – winner of the Bankia Madrid Masters.
Raphaël Jacquelin – winner of the Sicilian Open.
Matthew Zions – winner of the SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC.
The Following players qualified as players with more than 10 or more official victories on The European Tour: Retief Goosen – winner of 14 European Tour titles.
Robert Karlsson – winner of 11 European Tour titles.
Pádraig Harrington – winner of 14 European Tour titles.
Colin Montgomerie – winner of 31 European Tour titles.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez – winner of 18 European Tour titles.
José María Olazábal – winner of 23 European Tour titles.
Date of Birth: July 16, 1983 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Thomas Aiken Turned professional: 2002 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 8 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 22 Official World Golf Ranking: 87
HOMAS Aiken made his breakthrough on The European Tour last season with a two-stroke victory over Anders Hansen at the Open de España. The South African carded a final round two under par 70 for a ten under par total, two clear of the Dane, to take home the cheque for €333,330. Aiken had already posted four top tens
Date of Birth: February 18, 1971 n
Height: 6’ 2” n
prior to his win and carded an additional four top tens, including third place at the South African Open Championship. Prior to joining The European Tour Aiken was a regular winner on his native Sunshine Tour. After turning professional in 2002 he won three times in 2004, twice in 2005 and once each in 2006 and 2008.
Born: Silkeborg, Denmark
Thomas Björn Turned professional: 1993 European Tour Wins: 13 Career Victories: 15 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 9 Official World Golf Ranking: 35
HOMAS Björn had the best season of his career last year with three victories to his name including back-to-back wins at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Björn began his 2011 campaign with an outstanding victory at the
Commercialbank Qatar Masters in February and emerged victorious in Scotland in August after a five man play-off before a superb win at Cranssur-Sierre the following week. Björn won the first of his 13 European Tour titles in 1997 at the Loch Lomond Invitational and later that year went on to become the first Dane to play in The Ryder Cup.
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Date of Birth: May 15, 1978 n
Height: 5’ 5” n
Born: Calcutta, India
S.S.P. Chowrasia Turned professional: 1997 European Tour Wins: 2 Career Victories: 2 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 80 Official World Golf Ranking: 379
.S.P. Chowrasia picked up his second European Tour title last season on home soil at the Avantha Masters with a one-stroke victory over England’s Robert Coles. The win came three years after his first triumph when he made history by becoming the first player to win on his maiden appearance as an Affiliate Date of Birth: August 14, 1968 n
Height: 6’ 3” n
Member at the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters. Chowrasia held off the challenge from Irishman Damien McGrane to become the third Indian player to win a European Tour event. After turning professional in 1997, Chowrasia plied his trade on the Indian circuit until he was persuaded by his fellow professionals to join the Asian Tour in 2008.
Born: Dungannon, Northern Ireland
Darren Clarke Turned professional: 1990 European Tour Wins: 14 Career Victories: 18 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 11 Official World Golf Ranking: 48
ARREN Clarke realised his golfing dream last year with a gutsy victory at The 140th Open Championship at a wet and windy Royal St George’s which saw him secure his first Major by three strokes from Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Clarke, who also won last year’s
Iberdrola Open, is a two-time World Golf Championships winner having won the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2000 and the Bridgestone Invitational in 2003. He has 14 victories to his name on The European Tour and has played in five Ryder Cups, tasting victory on four occasions.
Date of Birth: November 14, 1982 n
Height: 6’ 1” n
Born: Brussels, Belgium
NICOLAS Colsaerts Turned professional: 2000 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 20 Official World Golf Ranking: 72
ICOLAS Colsaerts won his first European Tour title last year with a superb victory at the prestigious Volvo China Open in Chengdu in April. The big-hitting Belgian won by four strokes from Pablo Martin, Danny Lee, Søren Kjeldsen and Peter Lawrie with a 24 under par total to collect his first European Tour title in his 181st start.
Date of Birth: December 21, 1977 n
The win earned him a place in the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín and he excelled again, finishing third in the elite field of 24. He ended 2011 a career-best 20th on The Race to Dubai. Colsaerts has sport in his blood as his great grandfather represented Belgium at basketball and water polo at the 1920 Olympic Games.
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: York, England
Simon Dyson Turned professional: 1999 European Tour Wins: 6 Career Victories: 9 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 10 Official World Golf Ranking: 28
IMON Dyson enjoyed a superb year on The European Tour last season with two victories and six additional top tens. Dyson picked up his fifth European Tour title with a one shot victory over Richard Green at the Irish Open in July and two months later won the KLM Open in Holland for the third time in his career.
The Englishman won his first European Tour titles in 2006 at the Enjoy Jakarta HSBC Indonesia Open and the KLM Open and had another double haul of victories in 2009 with his second win at the KLM Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He ended the 2009 season a career best eighth place on The Race to Dubai.
Date of Birth: October 17, 1969 n
Height: 6’ 3” n
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Ernie Els Turned professional: 1989 European Tour Wins: 26 Career Victories: 68 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 51 Official World Golf Ranking: 56
ORLD Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els has three Major championships, two World Golf Championships and seven World Match Play Championship titles to his name. Els continues to play at the highest level, winning twice on the US PGA Tour in 2010 – at the WGC-CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational – and Date of Birth: October 13, 1980 n
Height: 6’ 1” n
last season he won the 100th staging of the South African Open Championship. The Big Easy won the first of his 26 European Tour titles at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 1994 and later that year won his first Major at the US Open. He won a second US Open in 1997 and won The Open Championship five years later at Muirfield. Born: Madrid, Spain
Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño Turned professional: 2004 European Tour Wins: 5 Career Victories: 5 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 19 Official World Golf Ranking: 49
ONZALO Fernandez-Castano won his fifth European Tour title at the rain-shortened Barclays Singapore Open in November last year. A back injury had left the Spaniard sidelined for six months after three missed cuts at the start of 2011 but his victory and two other top tens helped him finish 19th on The Race to Dubai.
The win was his first in three years with his last triumph coming at the British Masters at The Belfry in 2008. FdezCastaño turned professional in 2004 and won his first European Tour title a year later at the KLM Open, helping him with the Rookie of the Year Award. He then won one title for each of the next three consecutive seasons.
Date of Birth: September 28, 1978 n
Height: 6’ 4” n
Born: Ashington, England
Kenneth Ferrie Turned professional: 1999 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 76 Official World Golf Ranking: 219
NGLISHMAN Kenneth Ferrie defeated fellow countryman Simon Wakefield in a play-off to pick up his third European Tour title and first in six years at the 2011 Austrian GolfOpen. After turning professional in 1999 Ferrie won his first title in 2003 at the Open de España and went on to finish 34th on the Order of Merit.
Date of Birth: September 13, 1988 n
Two years later Ferrie won his second title at the European Open, held at The K Club in Ireland, by two strokes from Colin Montgomerie and Graeme Storm. He posted four additional top tens to finish a career-high 11th on the Order of Merit. As well as his victory last year Ferrie posted one other top ten at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Height: 6’ 1” n
Born: London, England
Oliver Fisher Turned professional: 2006 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 95 Official World Golf Ranking: 314
liver Fisher underlined his potential by winning his first European Tour title at last year’s Czech Open, two strokes clear of Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg. The Englishman was heralded as a star of the future by Sir Nick Faldo when he won the Faldo Series in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and at the age of 16 he became
the youngest ever player to play in the Walker Cup in Chicago in 2005. Fisher played the 2006 European Tour Qualifying School as an amateur, earned his card for 2007 and promptly turned professional. Prior to his victory last season Fisher’s best finish was runnerup to Thomas Levet at the Open de Andalucia in 2008.
Date of Birth: February 3, 1969 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: Pietersburg, South Africa
Retief Goosen Turned professional: 1990 European Tour Wins: 14 Career Victories: 35 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 42 Official World Golf Ranking: 53
ETIEF Goosen had another solid season on The European Tour last year with third place finishes at the BMW International Open and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and runnerup to Ernie Els at the South African Open Championship at the start of the campaign. Goosen, who has won 14 times on The
Date of Birth: August 31, 1971 n
Height: 6’ 1” n
European Tour, won his first title in 1996 and claimed his first Major at the 2001 US Open. He joined the golfing elite three years later with a second US Open title after a two-stroke victory over Phil Mickelson. Goosen won the Harry Vardon Trophy in 2001 and 2002 as leading money winner on The European Tour with three victories in 2001 and one in 2002. Born: Dublin, Ireland
PÁdraig Harrington Turned professional: 1995 European Tour Wins: 14 Career Victories: 18 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 67 Official World Golf Ranking: 85
ÁDRAIG Harrington won three out of six Majors in a two-year spell of superb golf which has cemented his place as a modern day European great. The Ryder Cup star, who topped the 2006 Order of Merit, won his first Major at The 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, defeating Sergio Garcia in a four hole play-off. A year later he
defended his crown with a four stroke victory over Ian Poulter at Royal Birkdale and then made it back-to-back Majors with a sensational two stroke victory at the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. He went on to be voted the US PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers to become only the third European to earn that honour.
Date of Birth: February 13, 1979 n
Height: 6’ 0” n
Born: Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
Michael Hoey Turned professional: 2002 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 25 Official World Golf Ranking: 102
ICHAEL Hoey stepped up to the plate last season with two wins including the biggest victory of his career at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. The Ulsterman picked up his first title of the year at the Madeira Islands Open in June and five months later triumphed at the Home of Golf, holding off the likes Date of Birth: April 14, 1985 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell for a two stroke victory. Hoey won his first European Tour title in 2009 at the Estoril Open de Portugal with a play-off victory over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño. Before turning professional in 2002 Hoey won The Amateur Championship and was a Walker Cup winner in 2001. Born: Stockport, England
David Horsey Turned professional: 2007 European Tour Wins: 2 Career Victories: 2 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 43 Official World Golf Ranking: 121
AVID Horsey picked up his second European Tour title at last year’s Trophée Hassan II with a play-off victory over Rhys Davies and Jaco Van Zyl. Horsey won his first European Tour title in fine style at the BMW International Open in 2010 after overhauling a five stroke deficit to win by one from compatriot Ross Fisher.
The Englishman enjoyed a successful amateur career which culminated in an appearance at the 2007 Walker Cup and after turning professional he had a season to remember in 2008 on the Challenge Tour. Horsey won two times as he graduated to The European Tour as the Number One ranked player.
Date of Birth: May 8, 1974 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: Lyon, France
Raphaël Jacquelin Turned professional: 1995 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 36 Official World Golf Ranking: 106
RENCHMAN Raphaël Jacquelin won his third European Tour title last season with a one stroke victory over Englishman Anthony Wall at the Sicilian Open. In 2010 Jacquelin had a steady season on The European Tour, coming close to capturing a third title with top three finishes at The Barclays Scottish
Date of Birth: January 5, 1964 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Open, the Open de España and the SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC. Jacquelin has been a Member of The European Tour since 1997 but didn’t win his first title until the 2005 Open de Madrid. Two years later he added his second title at the BMW Asian Open. Born: Malaga, Spain
Miguel Ángel JimÉnez Turned professional: 1982 European Tour Wins: 18 Career Victories: 18 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 12 Official World Golf Ranking: 44
IGUEL Ángel Jiménez enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2010 with three victories on The European Tour, taking his tally to 18, and then played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor. Jimenéz won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Alstom Open de France and the Omega European
Masters before earning two points from three matches at The Ryder Cup, including victory over Bubba Watson in the singles, as Europe regained the Cup. The Spaniard has won 11 of his 18 Tour titles since turning 40 in 2004 and last year his best result came here at the Volvo Golf Champions where he was runner-up.
Date of Birth: September 3, 1969 n
Height: 6’ 5” n
Born: Katrineholm, Sweden
Robert Karlsson Turned professional: 1989 European Tour Wins: 11 Career Victories: 11 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 37 Official World Golf Ranking: 24
OBERT Karlsson won the biggest title of his career at The European Tour’s season-ending Dubai World Championship in 2010 after a play-off with Ian Poulter. It was his second win of the campaign and helped him finish sixth on The Race to Dubai. Karlsson posted three top tens on The European Tour last season
Date of Birth: May 15, 1983 n
including fourth place at the US PGA Championship and he was runner-up at the FedEx St.Jude Classic in Memphis on the US PGA Tour. In 2008 Karlsson topped The European Tour ranking after winning twice and he capped his careerbest year by winning the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China for Sweden alongside Henrik Stenson.
Height: 5’ 10” n
Born: Barcelona, Spain
Pablo LarrazÁbal Turned professional: 2004 European Tour Wins: 2 Career Victories: 2 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 17 Official World Golf Ranking: 77
ABLO Larrazábal won his second European Tour title after a mammoth play-off victory over compatriot Sergio Garcia at the BMW International Open in Germany last season. The pair finished on 16 under par for the tournament after matching 68s and couldn’t be separated until Larrazábal made a birdie on the fifth extra hole – the
closing par 5 18th. He went on to end the season in 17th place on The Race to Dubai. Larrazábal, who turned professional in 2004 after working under his father’s guidance on the family fish farm for two years, graduated to The European Tour in 2007 after finishing in a tie for sixth place at the final stage of Qualifying School.
Date of Birth: January 1, 1969 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: Aberdeen, Scotland
Paul Lawrie Turned professional: 1986 European Tour Wins: 6 Career Victories: 6 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 18 Official World Golf Ranking: 83
AUL Lawrie ended an eight year winless drought last season with victory in the Open de Andalucia de Golf by Turkish Airlines. He ended the season strongly with a second place finish at the Dubai World Championship and finished 18th on The Race to Dubai. The Scotsman is best remembered Date of Birth: September 5, 1968 n
Height: 5’ 9” n
for his victory in The 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie where he came from ten strokes behind with a final round 67 and then beat Justin Leonard and Jean Van De Velde in a play-off. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and was handed lifetime membership to The European Tour. Born: Paris, France
Thomas Levet Turned professional: 1998 European Tour Wins: 7 Career Victories: 7 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 45 Official World Golf Ranking: 161
HOMAS Levet wrapped up the most satisfying win of his career last season with a victory over at the Alstom Open de France in his hometown of Paris. Levet had to miss most of the 2006 season and the early stages of 2007 due to suffering bouts of vertigo. Once back to full fitness the Frenchman showed his
class to post four top-ten finishes towards the end of the 2007 season before winning the 2008 Open de Andalucia and the 2009 Open de España. Levet enjoyed a career-best season in 2004. He won The Barclays Scottish Open and had seven top-ten finishes to take a career-high fifth place on the Order of Merit.
Date of Birth: January 5, 1991 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Born: Welwyn Garden City, England
Tom Lewis Turned professional: 2011 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 66 Official World Golf Ranking: 172
OM Lewis burst into the public eye last year with a superb performance as an amateur at The Open Championship, a starring role in the Walker Cup and then a maiden victory on The European Tour. Lewis first hit the headlines at Royal St George’s after an opening round 65 saw him become the first amateur
Date of Birth: January 7, 1986 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
to lead The Open after the first round and he went on to win the Silver Medal, finishing 30th overall. Lewis turned professional in September after helping GB&I regain the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen and won The Portugal Masters on The European Tour in just his third start as a professional. Born: Bleiswijk, The Netherlands
Joost Luiten Turned professional: 2006 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 24 Official World Golf Ranking: 64
OOST Luiten won his first European Tour title in impressive fashion at the rain-shortened Iskandar Johor Open last season with a one-stroke victory over Sweden’s Daniel Chopra with Rhys Davies, James Morrison and Padraig Harrington a shot further back. Luiten turned professional in 2006 and in his maiden season on the Challenge
Tour in 2007 he won twice to earn his European Tour card. In 2005 he won the Dutch National Open and the German and Spanish Amateur Opens and the following year he helped The Netherlands win the Eisenhower Trophy with a staggering finish of six under par through his closing five holes.
Date of Birth: April 19, 1993 n
Height: 6’ 0” n
Born: Verona, Italy
Matteo Manassero Turned professional: 2010 European Tour Wins: 2 Career Victories: 2 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 31 Official World Golf Ranking: 58
ATTEO Manassero confirmed his status as one of the brightest young stars of European golf by becoming the youngest winner in European Tour history at the 2010 CASTELLO MASTERS Costa Azahar at the age of 17 years and 188 days, and was subsequently named Rookie of the Year. He won his second title at last year’s Date of Birth: April 20, 1986 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Maybank Malaysian Open by one-shot ahead of Frenchman Gregory Bourdy. In 2009 Manassero became the first Italian winner of the British Amateur Championship and then won the Silver Medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship at Turnberry. Last year he became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters Tournament. Born: Malaga, Spain
Pablo MartÍn Turned professional: 2007 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 72 Official World Golf Ranking: 258
ABLO Martín successfully defended his title at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa last season to take an early lead in the 2011 Race to Dubai. Martín created history in 2007 by becoming the first amateur to win a European Tour event when he claimed the Estoril Open de Portugal
after carding weekend rounds of 66 and 68 for a one stroke victory over Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin. He won his first title as a professional at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2009 with a one stroke win over Charl Schwartzel in what was the first event of the 2010 season.
Date of Birth: June 23, 1963 n
Height: 6’ 1” n
Born: Glasgow, Scotland
Colin Montgomerie Turned professional: 1987 European Tour Wins: 31 Career Victories: 40 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 102 Official World Golf Ranking: 306
OLIN Montgomerie fulfilled a lifelong dream when he led Europe to a superb one point victory in The Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010. As a player Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup record is superb with 23.5 points from 36 matches – the third highest haul in European history – and he was unbeaten in all eight of his singles Date of Birth: August 7, 1978 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
matches stretching back to 1991. Montgomerie topped the Order of Merit a record eight times including an unprecedented seven times in a row between 1993-1999. He’s won more European Tour titles than any other British player and has triumphed in no fewer than nine Volvo sponsored events. Born: Durban, South Africa
Garth Mulroy Turned professional: 2002 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: N/A Official World Golf Ranking: 168
ARTH Mulroy won his first European Tour title at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in November last year with a two stroke victory over Scotland’s George Murray at Leopard Creek. The South African only played five European Tour events last season – all of which were on home soil – and he
also posted a runner-up finish behind Charl Schwartzel at the Joburg Open. He is a regular on the Sunshine Tour of South Africa and has two titles to his name. Mulroy’s first triumph came in 2008 at the Vodacom Origins of Golf – Arabella and later that year he won the Coca-Cola Charity Championship.
Date of Birth: July 12, 1982 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: Stockholm, Sweden
Alexander NorÉn Turned professional: 2005 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 3 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 14 Official World Golf Ranking: 66
LEXANDER Norén had his best season to date last year with two European Tour victories as he ended the season in 14th place on The Race to Dubai. The Swede won the Saab Wales Open at Celtic Manor in June before he was triumphant at the Nordea Masters on home soil the following month.
Date of Birth: February 5, 1966 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Noren secured his maiden European Tour title at the 2009 Omega European Masters at Crans-Sur Sierre in Switzerland, holing a superb bunker shot for an eagle three at the long 15th to help him win by two strokes from Bradley Dredge. Noren turned professional in 2005 and graduated from the Challenge Tour in 2006. Born: Fuenterrabia, Spain
José María Olazábal Turned professional: 1985 European Tour Wins: 23 Career Victories: 30 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 169 Official World Golf Ranking: 591
OSE María Olazábal will fulfil a lifelong dream later this year when he Captains the European Ryder Cup Team at Medinah Country Club in Chicago. The Spaniard played in seven of Ryder Cups and forged the most successful partnership in the event’s history with his compatriot, the late Seve Ballesteros as they won 11, halved two and lost only two
of their matches together. Olazábal won two Masters Tournaments – in 1994 and 1999 – and has triumphed 23 times in total on The European Tour. In 2009 Olazábal was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and after his first Masters win in 1994 he was awarded Honorary Membership of The European Tour.
Date of Birth: October 19, 1982 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Born: Mossel Bay, South Africa
Louis Oosthuizen Turned professional: 2002 European Tour Wins: 3 Career Victories: 8 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 15 Official World Golf Ranking: 40
OUIS Oosthuizen wrote himself into golf’s history books with a commanding victory at The 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews. The South African led from the second round onwards and completed a staggering seven shot victory over Lee Westwood at 16 under par for what was just his second European Tour victory, and
Date of Birth: June 25, 1976 n
Height: 5’ 9” n
his first Major in his ninth attempt. Oosthuizen had won his first European Tour title a few months earlier at the Open de Andalucía in Spain. Prior to making his breakthrough on The European Tour, he won five times on his native Sunshine Tour in South Africa and last season he won the Africa Open – an event cosanctioned by the two Tours. Born: Boksburg, South Africa
Hennie Otto Turned professional: 1998 European Tour Wins: 2 Career Victories: 6 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 53 Official World Golf Ranking: 116
ENNIE Otto clinched his second European Tour title with a superb victory at the SA Open Championship in November and he went on to end the season in 53rd place on The Race to Dubai. Prior to his win Otto had carded three top tens including a seventh place finish at the Alfred Dunhill
Championship a week earlier. Otto turned professional in 1998 and has won four times on his native Sunshine Tour including the 2010 Vodacom Championship. Otto made his European Tour breakthrough at the 2008 Italian Open with a one-stroke win over Englishman Oliver Wilson.
Date of Birth: April 6, 1977 n
Height: 5’ 10” n
Born: Rugeley, England
Robert Rock Turned professional: 1998 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 34 Official World Golf Ranking: 123
OBERT Rock won his first European Tour title at the 209th attempt at the BMW Italian Open in June last season after a one stroke win over compatriot Gary Boyd and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen. In addition Rock posted two top tens, both of which came in South Africa at the beginning of the season. He finished
Date of Birth: August 31, 1984 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
eighth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and then fifth at the South African Open Championship. In 2010 Rock finished seventh at The Open Championship for his best ever finish in a Major and we went on to end the season 57th on The Race to Dubai. Rock joined the European Tour as an affiliate member in 2003.
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Charl Schwartzel Turned professional: 2002 European Tour Wins: 7 Career Victories: 8 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 4 Official World Golf Ranking: 9
HARL Schwartzel joined golf’s elite last year with a stunning two stroke victory at the 75th Masters Tournament at Augusta National. The 27-year-old birdied the final four holes for a 66 to beat Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott and follow in the footsteps of South African compatriots Gary Player and Trevor Immelman as
winners of the famous Green Jacket. Prior to his Major breakthrough Schwartzel successfully defended his title at the Joburg Open in the city of his birth for his sixth title on The European Tour. Schwartzel turned professional in 2002 and later that year earned his European Tour card at Qualifying School at the age of 18.
Date of Birth: August 3, 1978 n
Height: 5’ 11” n
Born: Southport, England
Lee Slattery Turned professional: 1998 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 82 Official World Golf Ranking: 180
EE Slattery made an emotional breakthrough on The European Tour last year with victory in his 183rd career start at the Bankia Madrid Masters. Slattery turned professional in 1998 but by 2002 his golfing career had been forced to take a back seat after a bout of glandular fever. He bounced back in 2004 to top the
Date of Birth: December 27, 1978 n
Height: 6’ 1” n
Challenge Tour Rankings with one victory and a string strong results then in his first full season on The European Tour in 2005 he finished 144th on the money list. He won again on the Challenge Tour in 2010 before victory in Spain last year earned him exemption on The European Tour through to the end of 2012. Born: Gosford, Australia
Matthew Zions Turned professional: 2003 European Tour Wins: 1 Career Victories: 1 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking: 124 Official World Golf Ranking: 361
ATTHEW Zions made his breakthrough on The European Tour last season with a commanding seven stroke victory at the Saint-Omer Open in France. The Australian, who graduated from the 2010 Challenge Tour Rankings to earn his 2011 card, finished with an eight under par total, well clear
of Peter Gustafsson, Craig Lee and Daniel Denison who shared second place. The victory was his first since turning professional in 2003 and it earned him a place in this week’s Volvo Golf Champions as well a European Tour exemption through until the end of this season.
Hole by Hole Guide Hole 1
On ye go
Don’t sell yourself short, otherwise you’ve got a blind approach shot to the green.
Go for it – and get yourself on the right level – but par is always worth taking on this downhill long Par 3.
Big-hitters beware of the bunker and burn and a tough, large green.
Don’t A blind be misled par fourbyover this water beauty. to Stay a rasied out of green the bunkers guarded and by bunkers, run yourcrocs ball onto and the bandits. greenVery – links tough!! style.
Be brave and go for birdie with a long and accurate drive – and stay away from the wetlands.
Five Penny Piece
Another birdie chance for the bombers if the wind is downwind – but make sure you fly the bunkers.
Hole by Hole Guide Hole 7
Change of direction and with the wind at your back this is a straightforward hole if you can keep the green in view.
Stay straight and stay dry and this is another birdie chance once you have made the green.
Be aware of the cross wind but big-hitters can still make the green in two if they can fly the bunkers and the burn.
High-flyers can avoid the steep dune bunker but must be careful not to overshoot the runway and run out of green.
This is the shortest hole on The Links but itâ€™s not as simple as it looks. Usually plays into the wind which makes it easier to stop.
Reputedly the toughest hole on the course. A long and accurate drive is required and a careful approach to a small green.
Hole by Hole Guide Hole 13
Wind-assisted birdie chance but don’t be fooled – there are bunkers galore. Err on the short side for a safer approach.
Danger lurks for those who take on the challenge of driving the green. Be aggressive if you’re confident of getting there.
Roon The Bend
Don’t bite off more than you can chew by cutting corners on this rare dogleg that leads to a peninsula-type green.
Discretion may seem a hollow option but this is a tough challenge to get on in two.
Even the more courageous may opt for a cautious shot into this tricky L-shaped green.
Near The Dram
Whether you go for it in two or choose a safer approach the focus has to be on accuracy. Birdies can be made either way.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VOLVO Championship Executive Director Championship Director Championship Assistant Communications Director
Per Ericsson Tobias Winsnes Anna Carlsson Anna Hafström Kováts
VOLVO WORLD GOLF CHALLENGE TEAM Project Director Project Manager World Final Tournament Director
Jan Sidemo Julia Ryding/Staffan Jonson Derwynne Honan
IMG Championship Director Assistant Championship Director Championship Manager Championship Administrators Championship Accountant IT Manager IMG South Africa
Ross Hallett Jill Lederer Ben Freeman Alex Bensusan Helen Merry Chris Fry Emi Takahashi Robert O’Siochain Rachel Sudweeks Ayhan Oven Robyn Cox Jason Watson
VOLUNTEERS & SCORING Chief Marshals Chief Scorer
Piet and Mariki van der Merwe Henry de Graeff
FANCOURT Owners Chief Executive Officer Sales and Marketing Director Hotel General Manager Golf General Manager F&B Director Executive Chef Group Co-ordinator Links Golf Course Superintendent Resort Course Consultant Golf Co-ordinator Links Head Professional Marketing Manager Maintenance Manager Human Resources Officer VWGC Groups Co-ordinator VWGC Golf Co-ordinator Fancourt Head Pro Fancourt Golf Course Superintendent
Dr Hasso Plattner and Sabine Plattner Kerrin Titmas Carl Reinders Brett Castleman Lloyd Martindale Marcel Eichenberger Viktor Malek Theresa Pretorius Spencer Cooper Graham Corbett Sonja Martindale Tyrone Farrell Ulrike Schmidt Duncan Burnett Ajay Gosai Bridget Frost Leta van Heerden Neil Walsh Tucker Gerhard van Rooyen
EUROPEAN TOUR Tournament Director Chief Referee Secretary
Mikael Eriksson John Paramor Gaia Zonchello
Referees Recorder Agronomist Sunshine Tour Weather Service Official Starter
Mats Lanner Pascal Vincent Niccolo Nesti Gary Todd (Sunshine Tour) Dirk Cloete (Sunshine Tour) Linda Pettersson Eddie Adams Evert Scholtz Ivor Robson
MEDIA IMG Media/PR Manager IMG Media /PR Assistant ET Media Officer Sunshine Tour Media Officer Volvo Media Team Volvo Online Manager Event Marketing & Promotions Event PR
Michele Mair Robin Spring Scott Crockett Michael Green Anna Hafström Kováts Bart Browaeys Marian McPhail Stone Soup PR
Volvo and IMG would like to thank our Partners, the Official Sponsors and Official Suppliers of the Volvo Golf Champions.
OFFICIAL PARTNER Fancourt
OFFICIAL SPONSORS Timepiece Clothing
Rolex Oscar Jacobson
OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS Range Ball Trophy Designers & Suppliers Courier Services Water
Titleist Kosta Boda FedEx Aquelle
The Organisers would like to thank the following people and organisations without whose help and dedication the Championship could not take place: The entire team at Fancourt Golf Resort. There are too many to thank personally, but your help, support and dedication has been greatly appreciated. The Chief Marshals, Piet and Mariki van der Merwe for recruiting and organising the marshals, together with Sonja Martindale from Fancourt; Henry de Graef and the Nomad Golfers for organising the scoring teams and everyone else who has volunteered their services. The Sunshine Tour for providing operational and logistical support for the Championship. Media, TV and radio representatives for their coverage of the Championship. George Airport, George Municipality, SAPS (South Africa Police Service), Traffic Police and Emergency Services for their help and co-operation throughout the Championship. All suppliers who have supported the event and worked so hard to deliver the Championship.
watch the champions Get the most out of your day at the Volvo Golf Champions by following it from our strategically positioned grandstands and viewing platforms located at key points out on The Links
1 2 3 4
Volvo Suite Tournament Office European Tour Office Score Recorders & Stats Office
5 6 7 8 9
Leaderboard VIP Sky Box Public Grandstand Links Restaurant Locker Room
10 Volvo Pedestrian Detection Test Drive 11 Media Centre 12 Welcome Arch 13 Fancourt Golf Resort 14 TaylorMade Golf Nets 15 Big Screen 16 Main Scoreboard
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Medical HQ Public Toilets Entrance Tent Spectator Catering Spectator Bar Volvo Excavator Challenge Volvo Vehicle Display Volvo Kids Zone Range HQ Caddies HQ
Volvo Action Service 0860 11 22 12 Used Trucks Tel: 011 823 5755 Head Office Tel: 011 842 5000 Beaufort West Tel: 023 415 3962 Bloemfontein Tel: 051 435 5502 Cape Town Tel: 021 986 8200 Gauteng (Jet Park) Tel: 011 842 5300 George Adstock Traders Tel: 044 878 1333 Kimberley Tel: 053 841 0527 Middelburg Tel: 013 246 1918/9 Nelspruit Tel: 013 752 6138 Newcastle Tel: 083 322 0722 Pinetown (Durban) Tel: 031 792 4000 Polokwane Tel: 015 293 1216 Port Elizabeth Tel: 041 486 1885 Richards Bay Tel: 035 797 4235 Botswana (Gaborone) Auto Sueco (Botswana) (Pty) Ltd Tel: +267 392 3117 Namibia (Windhoek) Auto Sueco (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd Tel: +264 61 228 520
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The biggest names on the European Tour gather for the 2012 Volvo Champions tournament at The Links at Fancourt. The limited field contains 8...
Published on Jan 10, 2012
The biggest names on the European Tour gather for the 2012 Volvo Champions tournament at The Links at Fancourt. The limited field contains 8...