Victorious 'Monty' signs up for premiere of
Volvo Golf Champions on The Montgomerie course in Bahrain
Volvo confirmed on October 13th the name of their new European Tour event as the Volvo Golf Champions. The event has an original and specifically devised qualification criteria to ensure a field rich in quality consisting only of past winners of European Tour Tournaments. From 2012, the Volvo Golf Champions will be the curtain-raiser on the European Tour schedule with the field containing only winners from the previous season. By way of celebrating the inaugural tournament the field has been extended to 126 and will include both current and past champions.
The Volvo Golf Champions will take place at The Royal Golf Club in the Kingdom of Bahrain from the 27th to 30th January, 2011, with the full support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince.
Volvo's sponsorship covers the golfing spectrum and includes sponsorship of the Volvo World Golf Challenge, a global golf series for clients and prospects that covers 20 countries and hundreds of qualifying tournaments culminating in the ‘season ending' Volvo World Golf Challenge Final. With the creation of this new tournament, Volvo have found an innovative way to combine their grassroots and professional sponsorships whereby leading qualifiers from the Volvo World Golf Challenge will be invited to play ‘real golf' alongside the professionals on the Saturday of the Volvo Golf Champions, providing them with firsthand experience of world class professional golf.
The victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie, has confirmed he will be in Bahrain to compete in the first Volvo Golf Champions, having worked on the major development of the Montgomerie Course which re-opened in 2009. He explained, "I will feel very proud when Europe's best players go head to head over The Montgomerie Course, Bahrain in January. With European Golf Design and the vision of the Royal Golf Club, I think we have created a really superb Championship course and the fact that it has been selected to host such a major new European Tour event really underlines the success of work we have all done. With my Ryder Cup duties over, I am now looking forward to focusing on my own golf game which I have rather neglected recently. I will be looking for a strong start to the new season and hope that my unique insider knowledge of The Montgomerie Course will stand me in good stead at the Volvo Golf Champions."
Since announcing the event in early August teams from Volvo Event Management and IMG have been working hard to bring together the extensive logistics required for the major event. Working closely with the team at The Royal Golf Club and with the full cooperation of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, both Volvo and IMG are delighted with how the Tournament is taking shape.
A number of support sponsors have already been confirmed for the Championship including Rolex, who have agreed to extend their relationship with Volvo, IMG and the European Tour in becoming the ‘Official Timepiece' for the Volvo Golf Champions; and the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, a brand new five-start hotel due to open soon in Bahrain who have entered into an agreement to become the ‘Official Hotel' for the 2011 Championship.
Volvo is one of the most prolific and longest serving supporters of world golf, with over 20 years experience in running world-class golf tournaments, having title-sponsored over 120 professional golf tournaments. This is Volvo's first major golf sponsorship in the region and Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management - Golf, explained why; "We spent a great deal of time looking at venues around the world and decided Bahrain was the right choice for us. The Royal Golf Club's facilities are second to none and invaluably, the EDB and The Royal Golf Club showed great passion and vision to host this world class tournament. Finally, Bahrain is located in between our biggest market, Europe, and our fastest growing market, Asia, making it the ideal location to host our international clients."
"With preparations for the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions underway we are already very impressed with the enthusiasm from the EDB and the Royal Golf Club and believe their contributions will be invaluable in making this inaugural event a great success for everyone."
Anticipating the economic and business benefits the Volvo Golf Champions event will bring to Bahrain, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the EDB, commented "Golf has a very strong global presence and we believe it will bring great benefits to Bahrain. The Volvo Golf Champions fits well with our other international activities, such as the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, the first F1 event in the Middle East, and will once again showcase the Kingdom's attractive business environment for companies looking to access the Gulf region. Bahrain's strategic location as the gateway to the Gulf's trillion dollar market, low cost of doing business, and strong and highly regarded regulation, continue to attract investment." He stated, "Important events such as this are an integral part of progressing Bahrain's Vision 2030 which, under the guidance of HRH the Crown Prince, has been designed to drive the private sector as an engine for growth, support further diversification of the economy, and ultimately elevate national living standards by creating greater opportunities for all Bahrainis."
Shaikh Rashid Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Royal Golf Club's owning company, added, "In less than four months we will be hosting the Volvo Golf Champions and all our staff and members are eagerly anticipating the arrival of so many of Europe's champion golfers. As we work with the European Tour and IMG to prepare for the Volvo Golf Champions, we have been very gratified by the positive feedback our course and facilities have received. We are very excited to see how 126 of Europe's best players tackle our course in January."
Guy Kinnings, IMG's Director of Golf, EAME, added "The Royal Golf Club and the EDB were both integral to our decision to stage this tournament in Bahrain. In the past few months their invaluable support and contributions to our preparations shows what wonderful hosts they will be and we are very happy with the way everything is shaping up."
The inaugural Volvo Golf Champions will take place at the Royal Golf Club, Kingdom of Bahrain, 27-30 January, 2011.
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