Fisher opens defence against Donald

Defending champion Ross Fisher has been given a daunting task in the early rounds of the Volvo World Match play.

Ross Fisher, the defending champion at this week’s Volvo World Match play championship at Finca Cortesin in Spain, has drawn one of the most fearsome opponents in the 24-man field.

He is England’s World No 2, Luke Donald, an awesomely efficient competitor right now who has not finished outside the Top 10 in every US PGA Tour event he has played in since his impressive victory in the WGC-Accenture Match-play championship earlier this year.

Donald was right up there again with the front runners at the Players Championship at the weekend, eventually finishing in a tie for 4th

The other member of Donald’s three-man ‘Mark McCormick group’, who, on Thursday and Friday, take each other on in a match-play format on a round robin basis before two of them join the leading two from each of the other seven groups to make up the final 16 who go through to Saturday’s quarter finals, is America’s former US Amateur champion Ryan Moore, one of the game’s finest match-play amateur before he turned professional.

Lee Westwood, the Number One seed and 2000 World Match Play Champion, tops the ‘Seve Ballesteros group’ and will play Denmark’s Anders Hansen and Australia’s Aaron Baddeley while World No 3 Martin Kaymer of Germany finds himself drawn against Korea’s only major winner, YE Yang, the 2009 PGA Champion, and his hugely talented teenaged fellow countryman, Seung-yul Noh, in the ‘Arnold Palmer Group’.

Graeme McDowell, will go head-to-head with the 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and Jhonattan Vegas in the ‘Ian Woosnam Group’.while two-time US Open Champion Retief Goosen is pitted against World Number six Rory McIlroy, and recent winner of the Volvo China Open, Nicolas Colsaerts in the “Gustaf Larson Group”

Winner of the 2006 World Match Play Championship and the 2011 Volvo Golf Champions in China Paul Casey, another likely lethal competitor, takes on in the meantime fellow big-hitter, Spain’s Álvaro Quiros and Dane Søren Kjeldsen in the ‘Greg Norman Group’.

The ‘Assar Gabrielsson Group’ includes 2011 Masters Champion, Charl Schwartzel who will be taking on the wily home favourite Miguel Ángel Jiménez and
Sweden’s Johan Edfors.

Ryder Cup team mates, Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter are pitted against Scot Paul Lawrie, the experienced 1999 Open Champion and winner of the 2011 Open de Andalucia in the “Gary Player Group’.

Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management – Golf, added, “We are very excited now that we can see the draw laid out. The eight groups look fantastic and there will be no end of intriguing matches for the spectators here fans around the world to enjoy at Finca Cortes.

Our qualification criteria has delivered us a truly world class field and Finca Cortesín, I know, will provide the picture perfect stage we demand.

Guy Kinnings, Managing Director of IMG Golf, the organisers, said: “With over two thirds of the field ranked within the World’s top 50, this week’s Volvo World Championship could be a pivotal one for all the players at the top of the rankings.

“And the match play element offers the possibility of so many intriguing match ups that I think this could be one of the most interesting weeks in the tournaments 46 year history.”


Seve Balleteros group: Lee Westwood (Eng), Anders Hansen (Den), Aaron Baddeley (Aus)

Mark McCormick Group: Luke Donald (Eng), Ross Fisher (Eng), Ryan Moore (USA)

Arnold Palmer Group:Martin Kaymer (Ger), YE Yang (Kor) Seung-yul Noh (Kor)

Ian Woosnam Group:Graeme McDowell (Nir), Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) and Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)

Gustaf Larson Group:Retief Goosen (RSA), Rory McIlroy (Nir) and Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)

Greg Norman Group:Paul Casey (Eng), Álvaro Quiros (Spa) and Søren Kjeldsen (Den).

Assar Gabrielsson Group:Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Miguel Ángel Jiménez (Spa) and Johan Edfors (Spa)

Gary Player group: Francesco Molinari (Ita), Ian Poulter (Eng) and Paul Lawrie (Sco)