Saturday morning and there were no more bail-out options as the last sixteen golfers went head-to-head in straight knockout. The truly international field that had progressed from the group stages contained stars from no fewer than thirteen countries, including four of the five European Ryder Cup heroes from Medinah.
The Friday afternoon matches began with all but one of the field of 24 still in with a chance of making it through to the knock-out stages. The unseeded golfers in each group were playing their second match of the day, and for those who had not done so well in the morning it looked as though it would be a testing afternoon.
After Thursday's opening group matches in this year's Volvo World Match Play Championship, Friday morning marked the arrival of the unseeded players in each of the eight groups. This included recent winner of the Volvo China Open Brett Rumford, as well as three others who have already won on the European Tour this season.
The opening group matches of the 48th Volvo World Match Play Championship were completed on Thursday as the two seeded players in each group of three went head-to-head.
First staged in 1964, the Volvo World Match Play Championship is celebrating its 50th year in style at the stunningly beautiful Thracian Cliffs. On a course that borders the Black Sea and is packed with thrilling holes and visual delight, the opening shots will be fired on Thursday as the 24 star golfers bid to become the next champion of this historic event.
Graeme McDowell is hoping the Volvo World Match Play Championship’s pioneering visit to Bulgaria will inspire him to go one better than last year when he finished runner-up to Nicolas Colsaerts.
The 24 first-class golfers who make up the field this week, gathered in celebration on the amazing course at Thracian Cliffs.
Following the opening Press Conference, the eve-of-tournament draw took place at lunchtime today at Thracian Cliffs in eastern Bulgaria. The opening two days of the tournament on Thursday and Friday will be played in a Champions League-style format with eight groups of three golfers. Each will play the other two in his group, and the leading two will progress to the straight knock-out rounds starting on Saturday morning.
Australian Brett Rumford won the 2013 Volvo China Open on Sunday and in doing so qualified for the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, while a resurgent Henrik Stenson received the coveted sole invitation on offer. They complete an elite 24-man field that includes 14 of World’s top 50 challenging for the title at the breathtaking Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria from the 16th to the 19th May, 2013.
European Ryder Cup heroes, Ian Poulter, the 2011 Volvo World Match Play Champion, Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open Champion, Peter Hanson, six-time European Tour winner and Nicolas Colsaerts, the defending champion, head the latest list of stars to commit to the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, with many more players to be confirmed shortly following their qualification after the Masters. The Championship will be played at the breathtaking Thracian Cliffs Course in Bulgaria from the 16th to the 19th May, 2013.