returns focus to Europe
Bernhard Langer, who has focused his
playing schedule this year on the U.S. PGA Tour, has confirmed his entry for the
European Tour's season-ending Volvo Masters tournament at Valderrama in Spain.
The twice U.S. Masters champion, winner of the 1994 Volvo Masters at Club
de Golf Valderrama, will be competing in Europe for only the 10th time this season
at next week's event.
Won last year by Ireland's Padraig Harrington at
Montecastillo, the Volvo Masters is being staged at Valderrama for the first time
since 1996, when Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty was champion. It starts on November 7.
Germany's Langer, a member of Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup team at The
Belfry last month, is relishing the chance to return to a course where he has
fared well in the past.
The 45-year-old has finished in the Volvo Masters
top 10 eight times and his 1994 triumph was built on a superb course record of
nine-under-par 62 in the second round.
"That round of 62 is certainly
one of the top three rounds in my life and came at a very important time for me,"
said Langer in a statement.
"I definitely liked it (Valderrama) immediately.
One reason is that it is always in excellent condition and has very fast greens
-- both of these factors were in evidence when I first saw Valderrama.
also a golf course where you have to think. It plays to my strengths."
has played in 14 tournaments on U.S. soil this year with a highest finish of fourth
at the WorldCom Classic in late April.
In Europe, his best performance
was a tie for second at the BMW International Open in Munich, four strokes behind
winner Thomas Bjorn of Denmark.
The Volvo Masters, the final event of the
season on the European Tour, is contested by an elite field of 66.
tournament often decides the European Tour order of merit and next week title-holder
and current leader Retief Goosen of South Africa will be locked in a tight battle
to top the money list with reigning Volvo Masters champion Harrington.
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