Seve Ballesteros will captain The Continent of Europe against Great Britain and Ireland in a prestigious new biennial event to be named in honour of the Spanish golfer and held on April 14-16, 2000 at Sunningdale, with a £1.5 million prize fund.
The Seve Ballesteros Trophy will feature two teams each of ten players with Colin Montgomerie captain of Great Britain and Ireland and will be played as part of the European Tour International Schedule on the Old Course at Sunningdale. The leading seven players from The Continent of Europe and Great Britain and Ireland in the 1999 Volvo Order of Merit will be invited to play in addition to one player from each team being able to qualify from the 2000 Volvo Order of Merit.
Amen Corner, the Management Company owned by Seve Ballesteros, and Media Pro, a leading Spanish-based company in the selling of TV rights of international sporting events, will jointly promote the event which will be staged by The European Tour.
Ballesteros said: “The first edition of The Seve Ballesteros Trophy will be played in Great Britain because I wish to repay the British people for making Spain the host country for the 1997 Ryder Cup. I have also received throughout my career fantastic support from the British public whose love for the game of golf is second to none".
Montgomerie said: “I am delighted to have been appointed the captain of the Great Britain and Ireland team. This will be a very special match in which to be involved, not simply because it carries Seve’s name, but also as so many great players will be competing. You only have to look at the quality on both sides to see that the competition will be interesting and very close".
Ken Schofield, Executive Director of the European Tour, said: “The Seve Ballesteros Trophy will, as part of the Tour’s International Schedule, not only recognise the magnificent role that Seve has played in the growth of the European Tour, but also provide a unique opportunity for many of the best players in the world to meet in an exciting new team event. “Significantly, Seve was in 1979 a Member of the first Europe Team to include Tour Members from the Continent, and now we congratulate his company, Amen Corner, and Media Pro, on promoting The Seve Ballesteros Trophy.”
The Seve Ballesteros Trophy will not only be launched in the new millennium but it will also mark the 100th anniversary of the Old Course being laid out at Sunningdale by twice Open Champion Willie Park.
Charles Donald, Captain of Sunningdale, said: “This is a special year in the history of Sunningdale Golf Club, and we feel it to be most appropriate that we should be hosting the inaugural Seve Ballesteros Trophy as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary.”
The leading seven players from the 1999 Volvo Order of Merit eligible for Great Britain and Ireland, in addition to the captain, Colin Montgomerie, are: Lee Westwood, Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Mark James, John Bickerton and Gary Orr.
Those eligible for the Continent of Europe, in addition to the captain, Seve Ballesteros, are: Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Jarmo Sandelin, Jean Van de Velde, Thomas Björn, Bernhard Langer and Alex Cejka.
The format of the contest will be: Thursday, 13th April: Pro-am
Friday 14th April: Morning - 4 Foursomes matches Afternoon - 4 Fourballs matches
Saturday 15th April: Morning - 4 Greensomes matches Afternoon - 4 Fourballs matches
Sunday 16th April: 10 Singles
Courtesy of the European Tour Magazine