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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Euros Prefer Volvos to Hyundais

The PGA Tour season began with a limited-field event. Not to be outdone, the European Tour will have one this week.

I copied this from the event's info page at
The 2010 Volvo Golf Champions will take place over The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa from 19th – 22nd January 2012, the first exclusively-sanctioned European Tour event of the year, open only to winners from 2011 and European Tour players with 10 or more Tour titles to their name.

The limited field event will play all four rounds, with no halfway cut, the champion earning a first prize of €350,000 from a total prize fund of €2million.
At current exchange rates, that's a first prize of $444,990 and a total prize fund of $2,542,800. That's less than half of the Hyundai's purse. (That's less than half of the Sony Open's purse.)

The PGA Tour has been wondering how to increase participation in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, since so many of the winners don't seem to take it seriously. I've heard it suggested that they expand it to the winners from the last two years instead of one. The Volvo Golf Champions is an interesting twist on the concept, allowing the previous years' winners plus ET players with 10 or more Tour titles.

How would that work out for the PGA Tour? Well, according to the golf guy, Brent Kelley, over at's golf page, here's the list of active players with 9 or more wins:
  1. Tiger Woods - 71
  2. Phil Mickelson - 39
  3. Vijay Singh - 34
  4. Davis Love III - 20
  5. Ernie Els – 18
  6. Jim Furyk - 16
  7. Fred Couples - 15
  8. Corey Pavin – 15
  9. Kenny Perry - 14
  10. David Duval - 13
  11. David Toms - 13
  12. Justin Leonard - 12
  13. Steve Stricker - 12
  14. Steve Elkington - 10
  15. Stuart Appleby - 9
Except for Woods and Mickelson (who are already no-shows), the other guys would probably show up if they didn't already qualify with a current win. It's an idea that might be worth considering.

It's interesting to note that the Volvo's list shows only 35 eligible players -- not many more than the Hyundai currently has. I'll be interested to see how many actually show up. Wonder if they'll put the PGA Tour pros to shame?

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