Golf-World Matchplay Championship returns to 2011 calendar

NEWPORT, Wales, June 7 Mon Jun 7, 2010 8:00am EDT

NEWPORT, Wales, June 7 (Reuters) - The World Matchplay Championship will return to the calendar next season in Spain after this year's edition fell victim to a congested schedule.

Promoters International Management Group and sponsors Volvo were unable to find an appropriate date on the 2010 European Tour schedule, so cancelled this year's event.

Now the tournament, won by Britain's Ross Fisher last year, will go ahead from May 19-22 at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain.

This year's version did not go ahead was because last year the tournament ran at the same time as the Singapore Open, denying the event players such as three-times major champion Ernie Els and Britain's Ian Poulter.

Next year the championship will be held in between two high profile events either side of the Atlantic, directly after the Players Championship on the U.S. PGA Tour and the week before Europe's flagship tournament, the PGA Championship.

Organisers hope this will attract world-class players from both tours to Finca Cortesin, which hosted the event in 2009.

The tournament will again have round-robin group stages but the size of the field has been increased by eight to 24.

Eight groups of three will play in the round-robin stages on Thursday and Friday. Two will qualify from each group for a 16-man knockout stage on the Saturday, with the final on Sunday.

All matches will be played over 18 holes but, unlike last year, ties will finish when matches are over, instead of going to the 18th hole.

(Editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story emailsportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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