The Montgomerie Course at the Royal Golf Club, Riffa, Bahrain was the venue for the Volvo Golf Championships from January 27-30, 2011. Designed by 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and opened in January 2009, the 7,243-yard, Par-72 Montgomerie Course is one of the finest in the region and will present a tough test of golf for the 126 professionals chasing the US$283,330 (Approx. BHD107,000 / €217,000 first prize on offer at the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions.
Both the Montgomerie and the ‘Wee Monty’ courses are predominantly planted with Seashore Paspalum (Sea Isle Supreme) grass and have undergone major maintenance works during the summer of 2010 in order to have the facilities in tip-top condition ahead of the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions event in January 2011.
Tthe mail from Ogilvy confirming my application for media accreditation came as an expected surprise. On Wednesday, I attended a media conference in which Paul Casey and Ian Poulter talked with the press.
On Friday, 28.1.2011, I was one of the 4-member Marshal team for Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington. Being a Marshal means no camera. The number of spectators increased with the warmth of the sun. The players teed off from the 10th hole sharp at 7.30AM. Some cool breeze, a light shower and about 5 hours later, the game was over.
The next day, I decided to cover the event where some of the best known names in golf world played along with the amateurs. Jimenez, Molinari, Jacquiline, Casey were some of the players who put forward their best foot.
24th and 25th were the days made use of by the players to practice. The practice range and the putting green were sites of some good shots; mostly chipping as the bunker was enlarged to accommodate more players.