Order of Merit Up for Grabs


The European Tour will travel from the pasta-filled streets of Italy to the bullfighting venues of Spain for the season-ending Volvo Masters held at the spectacular Club de Golf in Valderrama.
The drama will be high as one of the strongest fields of the year gathers together to put the finishing touches on the 2002 season.
And the main focus will be on Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington competing for the 2002 Order of Merit (money title).
The duo will not only be doing battle for the top spot in one of the tightest races in memory for the European Order of Merit, but also for the Asprey and Garrard Golfer of the Year Award.
At the moment Goosen leads Harrington by a mere $23,119 and holds a $83,226 advantage over Ernie Els. Els, who played in the America's Tour Championship last week, has decided to skip the final European event of the season.
A number of scenarios of how the two finish up will determine the Order of Merit winner, though an outright win by any other golfer would put an end to the discussion.
Harrington, the defending champion, hopes to improve on his second-place finish to Goosen in last year's Order of Merit race.
Also in the field are 11 of the 12 European Ryder Cup team members with Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Niclas Fasth, Lee Westwood, Philip Price, Pierre Fulke, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Paul McGinley joining Harrington.
Statistical Preview for the Volvo Masters