Stellar field set for Volvo Champs

Several of the European Tour’s leading players will take part in this week’s Volvo Golf Champions, which takes place at the Durban Country Club.

Players from 18 different countries will participate, with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington admitting to the European Tour’s official website that the “course is in perfect condition.”

Joining the Irishman in Durban this week are seven South African players, including defending champion Louis Oosthuizen, former champions Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grance, as well as six-time European Tour winner Richard Sterne, Darren Fichardt, Dawie Ven der Walt and Thomas Aiken.

The 50-year-old Colin Montgomerie, eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner, is the oldest player in the field for this week’s event, while four-time European Tour winner Matteo Manassero is the youngest player at 20 years of age.

Other notable players to take part are Miguel Ángel Jiménez (the second oldest after turning 50 on Sunday), Tommy Fleetwood, 2011 Champion Paul Casey and Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Thomas Björn.

Practice rounds on the course were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, before the Pro-Am – which features a host of local sports stars – takes place on Wednesday.

The amateurs that will participate on Wednesday include John Smit, Shaun Pollock, Charl McCleod, John van der Ruit, Kyle Abbot, Daryn Smit, Odwa Ndungane and Matt Pearce.

“It is fantastic to have a tournament of this nature in Durban. It will be a real privilege to play alongside the world’s best golfers on a championship course. I know I will be a touch nervous on that first tee as I don’t know my swing as well as my bowling action. I am looking forward to it and hopefully our four ball can put in a decent performance,” Pollock, the former South African cricket captain, said.