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World Match Play Championship returns to England for 50th anniversary

Golf’s European Tour and the IMG agency have confirmed that the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship will take place at the London Golf Club in Kent, England from October 15-19.

The event will mark the return of the championship to England for its 50th anniversary. The tournament was traditionally staged at Wentworth, Surrey, until 2007, but then moved to Spain and Bulgaria. The return to England will also mean a change in the date of the event to its traditional autumn slot after having been staged in May for the past three years.

The 2014 championship will revert to a 16-man field and offer a prize fund of €2.25m ($3m) with a first prize of €650,000. The tournament will also now be played over five days starting on Wednesday.

“Already a tournament with a great tradition on the European Tour, we look forward to the Volvo World Match Play Championship adding a new chapter to its rich history in this, its 50th year, when it is played for the first time at the London Golf Club,” European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said.

Volvo Event Management president Per Ericsson said: “The UK is an important market for Volvo and, after looking at many possible venues, we found the London Golf Club to be ideally placed to both host this world-class field and our most valued customers.”

Guy Kinnings, the global head of golf at IMG, which operates the tournament, added: “The World Match Play Championship, founded in 1964, is IMG’s longest running event and it is very special to everyone at IMG.”