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2006 Amex Championship comes to England

England will become the fourth country to host the WGC-American Express Championship when the 2006 tournament is held at The Grove in Hertfordshire, organisers said on Sunday.

The elite limited field event, which offers a first prize of $1.2 million, has previously been held in Spain, the United States and Ireland.

"When the American Express Championship next returns to Europe in 2006, it will come to England," European tour executive director Ken Schofield told a news conference at Mount Juliet during the final round of this year's event.

"The Grove has already received significant international acclaim in a very short space of time since opening for business in 2003.

"In many people's minds, it is the finest inland golf course in England."

World Golf Championship events, one rung down in prestige from the four majors, were introduced in 1999. The inaugural American Express Championship was held at Valderrama in Spain, and returned there in 2000.

It has since been held at Mount Juliet in Ireland, in 2002 and again this year, and at the Capital City Club in Woodstock, Georgia last year.

Tiger Woods clinched the title in 1999, 2002 and 2003 with Canada's Mike Weir wining at Valderrama in 2000.

The 2001 event, scheduled to be played at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Missouri, was cancelled following the September 2001 attacks on the United States.

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