This is the second and the last opportunity to see Tiger Woods playing in Spain - said Mr. Alex Medina, Executive Director, of the American Express World Golf Championship. - Tickets are still available, 61 through Corte Ingles and Ticketmaster in the UK (www.ticketmaster.com). According to available information, we are expecting an average attendance of about 15,000 people each day in the course of the tournament. Considering that the event takes place from the 7th to 12th of November, that represents some 90,000 people, all going to Valderrama!
The World Golf Championships are a series of tournaments launched in February 1999, featuring the games top players competing against each other. The events rotate through a variety of well known venues worldwide, with about half the venues being played in the United States and the other half in other countries.
The 2000 American Express Championship, a 72-hole, stroke-play, no-cut tournament, features about 65 players, to include the official world golf ranking Top 50 players with Tiger Woods as the defending champion. The winner will collect US$ 1 million together with the Gene Sarazen Cup. The total purse is stated to be US$ 5 millions.
The location, the Club de Golf Valderrama in Sotogrande, is a world class venue, stated to be the best golf course in mainland Europe, a position it has held since the first Ryder Cup in Spain, in 1997. Located in an enviably beautiful country spot, this 6,838-yard, par 36-36--72 course, can rightfully claim fairways that are generally considered to be the best in Europe.
The weather in November is unpredictable even in Spain, but if the 1997 Ryder Cup is anything to go by, I feel quite confident that it will present no problem to Valderrama.
Amongst the contenders, at the time of writing, only one had entered the top 50 league for England, namely Westwood, while Montgomerie, Coltart and Orr were on the Ranking for Scotland.
Olazabál, García and Jimenez represented Spain amongst the top 50.
Last year, Tiger Woods was followed by Colin Montgomerie, second and Davis Lee Love III in third place. As at 25th of September, Montgomerie held 6th place in the current Ranking while Westwood was in second place.
It will be very interesting to see how the players move within the Ranking over the next few weeks to 30th of October. Granted an MBE in 1998 for his outstanding career as a golfer, Monti is one of the favourites and I think that he stands a good chance even against Tiger Woods. He has played various times at the Valderrama and he knows the course pretty well. Though he has had a bad start to the year, due to his shoulder injury, Westwood may well surprise us.
For those of us that cannot make it to Valderrama or who prefer to watch from a comfortable armchair at home, the event will be shown on BBC1 and on Canal+.
On the Internet the addresses to look for are:
The 2001 World Golf Championship- American Express will be held at Bellerive Country Club, in St. Louis, Missouri from 13th to 16 Sept.