European Tour Analyst Dougie Donnelly is in Andalucia, Spain for coverage of the Volvo World Match Play Championship. The field is not as strong as it has been in past years but it is better to be positive than negative because the field is still very strong despite all of the competition when it comes to setting worldwide tournament schedules. Also, a lot of players feel the need to take a week off prior to the BMW PGA Championship next week.
He does not think that Finca Cortesin favors any one player over another. It is a very picturesque and hilly golf course and there are a few par 4 holes that are reachable depending on the way the wind blows. So many people love match play and want to watch match play and this week, people get to do so.
This is one of the great traditional events as it dates back to 1964 when it was played at Wentworth. It used to be the season finale and Americans including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would come over to England and participate. Some players including Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell need big weeks if they want to impress European Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal. He feels that defending champion Ian Poulter needs a big week as well but feels that it is likely that Olazabal would use one of his two Captain’s Picks on Poulter because he is such a great Match Play competitor.