Jimenez joins Fancourt field

Miguel Angel Jimenez is the latest player to sign up for the European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions.

Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez is the latest player to sign up for the European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions – it’s ‘tournament of champions’ event.

Other new participants include Paul Lawrie, Alexander Noren and Nicolas Colsaerts. Along with Jimenez, they will join the likes of Paul Casey, Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen, Thomas Björn, Colin Montgomerie, Louis Oosthuizen, Matteo Manassero and the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Tom Lewis in competing for the hefty €350,000 first prize cheque at The Links at Fancourt in George, South Africa from 19th – 22nd January.

Jimenez, known for his trademark cigar and love of fast cars, is one of the more colourful characters in the golfing world, but is more than able to let his golf do the talking as well. He qualifies for the event through his ten titles on the European Tour – just as Colin Montgomerie and Retief Goosen have done.

“This is the first time we will have a season opening tournament specifically for winners on the European Tour and I think the Volvo Golf Champions is a great addition to our schedule. I am really excited to be playing at Fancourt and am ready for a genuine test of Links golf,” Jimenez told europeantour.com.

“I was disappointed not to win in 2011 so will be hoping that I can put this right as soon as possible in 2012.”

Scot Paul Lawrie finished 2010 in impressive fashion with a second place finish at the season-ending Dubai World Championship behind Alvaro Quiros.

“I was really pleased to be back in the winner’s circle and I want to keep building on that in 2012. There is no better place to get the season underway than at Fancourt and enjoying the great weather down in sunny South Africa!” he said.

Sweden’s Alexander Noren is growing in stature, first winning the Wales Open last year and then triumphing in style on home soil in the Nordea Masters.

“It is nice to qualify to play in such an elite tournament. I think it will be a special atmosphere as it is a limited field at a world-famous venue and I would love to start my year off with a win at such a prestigious tournament,” said Noren.

Nicolas Colsaerts, winner of the 2011 Volvo China Open and semi-finalist in the 2011 Volvo World Matchplay Championship, will be hoping his love affair with Volvo-sponsored events continues.

“I seem to play well in the Volvo tournaments – they are always very well organised and I have a great time so maybe that is why,” said the Belgian.