World Match Play features new course, bigger purse

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The European Tour’s Volvo World Match Play Championship already has a new venue for 2013. It will feature a beefier purse, too.

Tournament organizers announced Monday that the prize money for the 24-player event will rise from €2.75 million ($3.5M) to 3 million ($3.9M) next season – a 9 percent increase. The winner will collect €800,000 ($1.04M).

That event will be held May 16-19 – the week of the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship – at the Black Sea Resort at Thracian Cliffs, marking the first time that the European Tour has staged a tournament in Bulgaria. The Gary Player-designed track has been dubbed the “Pebble Beach of Europe,” in reference to its dramatic views and rugged coastal cliffs.

Defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthiuzen and Peter Hanson have already qualified for the tournament.