World Match Play Returns to England

The Volvo World Match Play Championship, which once lured the best golfers in the world, will return to England for its 50th anniversary edition on Oct. 15-19 at London Golf Club in Kent, England.

Graeme McDowell claimed the title last May in the $3 million event with a 2-and-1 victory over Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand at Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort in Kavarna, Bulgaria.

“I think it is fantastic that the Volvo World Match Play Championship will be played in England for this special anniversary,” said McDowell, who this week is playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “I enjoyed everything about my victory last year at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria. The course was spectacular and any event that Volvo are involved in as a sponsor is always a privilege to win.

“Iit seems right, though, to celebrate the championship’s 50th anniversary in England, where the tournament was held for so many years. I have heard that the International Course at the London Golf Club is a great track. I’m looking forward to defending my title there in October.”

In addition to returning to England, the tournament will be back in its tradition October slot on the European Tour

Arnold Palmer captured the inaugural event in 1946 with a 2-and-1 victory over Neil Coles of England in 1964 at Wentworth Club outside London, where the tournament was played every year until through 2007.

After a one-year hiatus, the event was played at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Casares, Spain, from 2009-12.

England, which has been the site of few tournaments in recent years, will have three Euro Tour events in 2013, also hosting the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May.

Ernie Els won the World Match Play title a record seven times at Wentworth, where he owns a home, while Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros each claimed five titles.

Other winners include Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Hale Irwin, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Corey Pavin, Bill Rogers, Bob Charles, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Isao Aoki, Vijay Singh and Mark O’Meara, who beat Tiger Woods in the 1998 final, 2 and 1.

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