Matteo Manassero, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Bjorn will form the final two groups in the first round of the Volvo Golf Championships on Thursday in South Africa.
Joost Luiten and Victor Dubuisson form another highly rated group, with Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Richard Sterne another pairing to watch. The field also features Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.
Here are some more facts and figures on this week’s tournament:
• Time and place: Thursday through Sunday, Durban (South Africa) CC.
• Top-ranked players, OWGR: 18, Charl Schwartzel; 24, Thomas Bjorn. Sagarin: 8, Schwartzel; 46, Joost Luiten.
• At stake: $700,000 first prize in $4 million purse.
• Short shots: Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, who just turned 50 Sunday, is another notable to watch along with America’s Peter Uihlein and England’s Paul Casey. . . . The event is limited to tournament winners in last season and the start of this season, past champions (Grace) and players under 50 with 10 career European Tour victories (Montgomerie, Olazabal, Harrington, Darren Clarke and Robert Karlsson). . . . Bjorn leads Schwartzel in the early Race to Dubai rankings.
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Complete tee times and pairings for the first round of the European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions tournament at Durban (South Africa) CC (all times EST):
2:50 a.m.: Dawie Van Der Walt, Jin Jeong
3:00 a.m.: Simon Thornton, Darren Fichardt
3:10 a.m.: Thomas Aiken, Morten Orum Madsen
3:20 a.m.: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Michael Hoey
3:30 a.m.: José María Olazábal, Tommy Fleetwood
3:40 a.m.: Raphaël Jacquelin, Colin Montgomerie
3:50 a.m.: Marcel Siem, Robert Karlsson
4:00 a.m.: Darren Clarke, Julien Quesne
4:10 a.m.: Mikko Ilonen, David Howell
4:30 a.m.: David Lynn, Branden Grace
4:40 a.m.: Chris Wood, Paul Casey
4:50 a.m.: Peter Uihlein, Brett Rumford
5:00 a.m.: Stephen Gallacher, Miguel Angel Jiménez
5:10 a.m.: Joost Luiten, Victor Dubuisson
5:20 a.m.: Jamie Donaldson, Padraig Harrington
5:30 a.m.: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Richard Sterne
5:40 a.m.: Matteo Manassero, Charl Schwartzel
5:50 a.m.: Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Björn
– Associated Press contributed.