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Record purse on offer at Volvo Masters

Record prize money of four million euros ($4.82 million) has been confirmed for the season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama in Spain, the European Tour announced on Monday.

The prize fund, up from the 3.75 million euros on offer last year, equals the tournament purse at the tour's flagship BMW Championship at Wentworth in May.

Apart from the four majors and the four World Golf Championship events, this week's Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, with prize money of 4.14 million euros, is the only event on the European Tour schedule offering more money.

Adding spice to this year's Volvo Masters will be the battle for the 2005 European order of merit title, where U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell holds a slender lead over second-placed Retief Goosen of South Africa.

Goosen, who trails Campbell by 136,990 euros, is bidding to become European number one for the third time after claiming the crown in 2000 and 2001.

Volvo event manager Mel Pyatt said in a statement: "We are delighted it looks as if once again the Volvo Masters will be the deciding tournament for the order of merit title, a scenario we hoped for when first creating the event back in 1988.

"A final day battle between the leading contenders would also be a fitting way to celebrate what will be Volvo's 100th professional tournament sponsorship and the 58th European Tour title sponsorship since 1988."

The winner of this year's event, which takes place from October 27 to 30, will receive a cheque for 666,660 euros, the same amount earned by Argentina Angel Cabrera for his two-shot triumph at the BMW Championship in May.

Britain's Ian Poulter will be back to defend his title at Valderrama, where he triumphed last year in a playoff with Sergio Garcia.


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