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Golf Today > Asian Golf > Tour Schedules > 2007 Asian Tour > HSBC Champions > Preview


HSBC CHAMPIONS RELATED STORIES





 Event Preview

A glittering array of stars are in the line up for this week’s HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai starting on Thursday.

The players will compete for a US$5 million prize fund at the HSBC Champions, an event growing in stature in the region as it is the richest.

The 89-man field is represented by 22 countries and boasts five of the world’s top 10, 10 of the world’s top 20 and nearly half of the world’s top 50 players. The players between them have won a staggering 588 tournaments around the world, including 13 Major titles.

This is without question the strongest stroke play field to have been assembled in China, with World number two, Phil Mickelson, the 2007 HSBC World Match Play Champion and World number four, Ernie Els, the 2007 US Open and British Open Champions, Angel Cabreraand Padraig Harrington and two-time US Open Champion, Retief Goosen, and three-time Major winner,Vijay Singh, all looking to wrestle the HSBC Champions crown from defending Champion, Yang Yong-eun.

Other golfers participating in this year’s HSBC Champions include World Number 10 and runner-up at the 2007 Open Championship, Sergio Garcia, World number nine, KJ Choi, Henrik Stenson, who is ranked 16th in the world, World number 18, Trevor Immelman, World Number 20, Niclas Fasth, 2006 HSBC World Match Play Champion, Paul Casey,and eight-time European Order of Merit winner, Colin Montgomerie.

The crowds will enjoy watching their own local heroes take on the world’s best international golfers with ten Chinese stars in the field including Liang Wen-chong who, this year, became the second Chinese player to win on the European Tour at the Singapore Masters. The first player to do so, Zhang Lian-wei, is also in the line up.

Speaking at today’s press conference, Vincent Cheng, Chairman of HSBC Asia Pacific said: “In its third year, HSBC Champions 2007 is set to build on the positive impact that the tournament brought in the past two years to China’s golfing community. In addition to bringing together the world’s best players to Shanghai for what will be another exciting four days of world class golf, this year, we are also proud to have in partnership with the China Golf Association our jointly launched HSBC China Junior Golf Programme. We hope to nurture local talent and produce a home-grown winner on the world golf arena.”

Zhang Xiaoning, Director of Mini-ball Sports Administration Center, General Administration of Sports of China, Managing Deputy Chairman and General Secretary of China Golf Association, said, “With the strongest field in golf events ever held in China, the HSBC Champions this year has generated great golf fever in China and across the region. We, at China Golf Association, are pleased to further develop our partnership with HSBC to continuously develop this sport in China.”

Playing in his first official event in China, Mickelson is clearly looking forward to the challenges of the HSBC Champions, saying, “I’ve been looking at a way of including this event in my schedule and am delighted to be here this week competing for the ‘Champion of Champions’ title. I would really like to win an international title of this magnitude, especially as I will be competing against so many great winners from the different Tours.”

Cabrera, the first Argentine winner of the US Open Championship, said, “I am delighted to be playing in the HSBC Champions – it is my first time playing in the tournament and I would be very happy to win. I think it is a very good concept – inviting the winners from the different Tours - am very much looking forward to my week in Shanghai.”

Open Champion, Harrington said, “I am delighted to be back at the Sheshan Club in November. I finished tied sixth here last year and certainly hope to improve on that position this week. The HSBC Champions has one of the strongest fields of the year outside of the Majors and it would be a great event to win to kick off my 2008 season and boost my year end world ranking.”

Goosen, who won the Qatar Masters earlier this year, commented, “The course at Sheshan really suits my game – last year I shot three great rounds in the 60s. I’ll be looking to play well the whole week as well as enjoying my time here in Shanghai as I did last year.”

Defending Champion, Yong-Eun Yang added, “I am looking forward to defending my title. Winning the HSBC Champions was the most important title of my career and I hope that I will be able to play as well at Sheshan this week.”

Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Group Head of Sponsorship,added, “The interest and enthusiasm of so many of the world’s best players is unprecedented and to have so many of the world’s best players in the field will make for a dramatic week. We are thrilled at the impact the HSBC Champions has had in Asia and around the world over the last two years and look forward to making the third HSBC Champions our best yet.”

Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President, Director of Golf, Asia, IMG, said “There is a terrific buzz about the HSBC Champions and to see so many golfing stars lined up on the stage and on the entry list has only added to the excitement. The fact that so many of the world’s elite have turned up to battle for the Champion of Champions title has really given great credence to the tournament name of HSBC Champions. China’s ever increasing number of golf fans are in for an incredible week.”

November 6, 2007

 



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