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European PGA Tour

PGA European - Volvo World Match Play Championship Preview
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DATES: Wednesday, October 15th through Sunday, October 19th
SITE: The London Golf Club, Ash, Kent, England
COURSE ARCHITECT: Ron Kirby (1993)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,026
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 568 Yds10 - Par 4 373 Yds
2 - Par 4 373 Yds11 - Par 4 405 Yds
3 - Par 4 449 Yds12 - Par 3 207 Yds
4 - Par 3 197 Yds13 - Par 5 552 Yds
5 - Par 4 406 Yds14 - Par 3 190 Yds
6 - Par 5 592 Yds15 - Par 5 555 Yds
7 - Par 4 387 Yds16 - Par 3 198 Yds
8 - Par 3 201 Yds17 - Par 4 368 Yds
9 - Par 4 463 Yds18 - Par 5 542 Yds
36 3,636 Yds36 3,390 Yds
Annual:  49th
Television:  Golf Channel - Wednesday -- 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Saturday -- 6:30-11:30 a.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 3-7 a.m. (et), 7:30-11:30 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Graeme McDowell
Runner-Up:  Thongchai Jaidee
Largest Winning Margin in Final:  Paul Casey def. Shaun Micheel, 10 & 8, 2006
Longest Match in Final:  Gary Player def. Graham Marsh, 1-up (40 holes), 1973
Largest Winning Margin in any match:  Retief Goosen d. J.Maggert, 12&11, 2004;
  Retief Goosen d. M.Hensby, 12 & 11, 2005
Longest Match:  Michael Campbell def. Nick Faldo, 1-up (43 holes), 2002
Best Single Round:  60 (Ernie Els, 2002)
Best Match Scores:  15-under-par (Ernie Els, 2002 - 31 holes);
  (Colin Montgomerie, 2000 - 33 holes);
  (Sandy Lyle, 1986 - 37 holes)
Total Purse:  $2,846,025 (2,250,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $822,112; 2nd - $417,364; Semifinalists - $265,595
2013 Finish
Graeme McDowellWonFrancesco MolinariT-5
Thongchai Jaidee2ndNicolas ColsaertsT-5
Thomas AikenT-3Scott JamiesonT-5
Branden GraceT-3Eight players atT-9
Chris WoodT-5
Past Volvo World Match Play Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2013Graeme McDowell (2&1) -- Thongchai Jaidee
2012Nicolas Colsaerts (1-up) -- Graeme McDowell
2011Ian Poulter (2&1) -- Luke Donald
2010Not Held
2009Ross Fisher (4&3) -- Anthony Kim
2008Not Held
2007Ernie Els (6&4) -- Angel Cabrera
2006Paul Casey (10&8) -- Shaun Micheel
2005Michael Campbell (2&1) -- Paul McGinley
2004Ernie Els (2&1) -- Lee Westwood
2003Ernie Els (4&3) -- Thomas Bjorn
2002Ernie Els (2&1) -- Sergio Garcia
2001Ian Woosnam (2&1) -- Padraig Harrington
2000Lee Westwood (38th hole) -- Colin Montgomerie
1999Colin Montgomerie (3&2) -- Mark O'Meara
1998Mark O'Meara (1-up) -- Tiger Woods
1997Vijay Singh (1-up) -- Ernie Els
1996Ernie Els (3&2) -- Vijay Singh
1995Ernie Els (3&1) -- Steve Elkington
1994Ernie Els (4&2) -- Colin Montgomerie
1993Corey Pavin (1-up) -- Nick Faldo
1992Nick Faldo (8&7) -- Jeff Sluman
1991Seve Ballesteros (3&2) -- Nick Price
1990Ian Woosnam (4&2) -- Mark McNulty
1989Nick Faldo (1-up) -- Ian Woosnam
1988Sandy Lyle (2&1) -- Nick Faldo
1987Ian Woosnam (1-up) -- Sandy Lyle
1986Greg Norman (2&1) -- Sandy Lyle
1985Seve Ballesteros (6&5) -- Bernhard Langer
1984Seve Ballesteros (2&1) -- Bernhard Langer
1983Greg Norman (3&2) -- Nick Faldo
1982Seve Ballesteros (37th hole) -- Sandy Lyle
1981Seve Ballesteros (1-up) -- Ben Crenshaw
1980Greg Norman (1-up) -- Sandy Lyle
1979Bill Rogers (1-up) -- Isao Aoki
1978Isao Aoki (3&2) -- Simon Owen
1977Graham Marsh (5&3) -- Ray Floyd
1976David Graham (38th hole) -- Hale Irwin
1975Hale Irwin (4&2) -- Al Geiberger
1974Hale Irwin (3&1) -- Gary Player
1973Gary Player (40th hole) -- Graham Marsh
1972Tom Weiskopf (4&3) -- Lee Trevino
1971Gary Player (5&4) -- Jack Nicklaus
1970Jack Nicklaus (2&1) -- Lee Trevino
1969Bob Charles (37th hole) -- Gene Littler
1968Gary Player (1-up) -- Bob Charles
1967Arnold Palmer (1-up) -- Peter Thomson
1966Gary Player (6&4) -- Jack Nicklaus
1965Gary Player (3&2) -- Peter Thomson
1964Arnold Palmer (2&1) -- Neil Coles
Note:Formerly called Piccadilly Match-Play (1964-76), Colgate Match-Play
(1977-78), Suntory Match-Play (1979-90), Toyota World Match Play Championship (1991-97), Cisco World Match Play Championship (1998-2002), HSBC World Match Play Championship (2003-07).

Top Contenders in the Field
Graeme McDowell------------T-52ndWon
Thongchai Jaidee------------------2nd
Francesco Molinari------------T-5---T-5
Shane Lowry------------------T-9
Henrik Stenson------T-3T-9------T-17
Jamie Donaldson------------------T-17
Stephen Gallacher------------------T-17
Thomas BjornT-9------------T-9---
Paul Casey---WonT-5T-13T-17------
Jonas Blixt---------------------
Victor Dubuisson---------------------
Mikko Ilonen---------------------
Pablo Larrazabal---------------------
Alexander Levy---------------------
Joost Luiten---------------------
Patrick Reed---------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Jamie Donaldson
Darkhorse - Shane Lowry
Last Week's Pick to Win (Tommy Fleetwood) - Finished tied for 12th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Richie Ramsay) - Withdrew after 1st round
The Volvo World Match Play Championship takes place this week in England, as nine of the top 50 players in the world are competing. The field is led by world No. 5 Henrik Stenson. He is joined by defending champion Graeme McDowell (18), Victor Dubuisson (23), Jamie Donaldson (25) and Patrick Reed (26), who is the only American in the field.

Stenson, McDowell, Dubuisson, Donaldson and Stephen Gallacher all were members of the victorious European team at the Ryder Cup. Reed was outstanding for the losing American side, finishing his first Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record.

The 16-man field is divided into four groups of four players, with everyone playing three matches and the top two players from each group advancing to the single elimination matches on Saturday and Sunday.

This year's tournament will be held at The London Golf Club in Ash, Kent, England for the first time. The 2013 tournament was held at Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria.

Last year, McDowell battled back from an early deficit in the final and claimed the title with a 2 & 1 victory over Thongchai Jaidee. McDowell was 2- down through four holes before eventually squaring the match at the 12th. He took his first lead with a par on the 14th and then went 2-up on the 15th courtesy of a deft approach to five feet. The advantage held after both players parred the 16th, and when Thailand's Jaidee missed a long and challenging birdie putt on 17, McDowell was able to lock up his eighth European Tour victory with a tap-in par. McDowell became the first Irishman to win this event.

In 2012, Nicolas Colsaerts defeated McDowell, 1-up, in the final. Colsaerts earned his second European Tour title following his victory at the 2011 China Open. Colsaerts became the first Belgian to win twice on the European Tour.

In 2011, Ian Poulter rolled in a 6-foot par putt on the 17th hole in the final to beat Luke Donald, 2 & 1. Poulter earned his 11th European Tour title. It was the first all-English final in tournament history.

Ernie Els defeated Angel Cabrera in 2007, 6 & 4, to win this event for a record seventh time. Els previously won in 1994-96, 2002-04. Els won at the Wentworth Club in England, which he helped redesign. Els has appeared in the championship match eight times, losing only to Vijay Singh in the final in 1997.

In 2006, Paul Casey easily defeated Shaun Micheel to win. Casey took a commanding lead late in the morning round, kept his foot on the pedal and cruised to a 10 & 8 win in the 36-hole final. It was the largest winning margin for a final match in event history.

Michael Campbell held off Irishman Paul McGinley, 2 & 1, in the final to win in 2005. Campbell, who won the U.S. Open earlier in 2005, became the fourth player to win both events in the same year, joining Gary Player (1965), Hale Irwin (1974) and Els (1994).

Five-time winners of this event are Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player, while Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam are 3-time winners. When Woosnam won in 2001, he became the oldest winner in tournament history as he defeated Padraig Harrington. At the age of 43, Woosnam outlasted Harrington, 2 & 1, as he equaled his own record of seven successive birdies and broke the front-9 scoring record when he shot 28. Woosnam came back from 3-down to become the first player to win the title in three different decades.

The European Tour is in Australia next week for the ISPS HANDA Perth International, where Jin Jeong won last year.

10/14 15:53:10 ET

As of October 14, 2014, at 03:53 PM ET

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