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Daly & Montgomerie commit to new Asian event

Shenzhen, China, September 3: John Daly and Colin Montgomerie, two of the biggest names in golf, will compete in China's first US$1 million Tour event this year, when they tee-off in the TCL Classic from November 14-17.

Signifying the start of an exciting new era for professional golf in China, TCL Industries Holdings (HK) Limited will stage the inaugural event at Harbour Plaza Golf Club in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. The tournament will be a full-field event on the Davidoff Tour.

"The TCL Classic will be the richest Tour event played in China and will provide a wonderful opportunity for China's professional golfers to play in a world-class tournament with two of the finest players in the game, John Daly and Colin Montgomerie," said Mr Li Dong Sheng, Chairman, TCL.

"Indeed, the TCL Classic, as one of the top events on the Davidoff Tour, will be a tremendous tournament for players from across the region to play in. At the same time, it will provide an ideal platform to further promote the TCL brand," added Li.

Two-time Major winner Daly has been a regular visitor to Asia over the years and will head to the TCL Classic full of confidence after enjoying a great deal of success in the game in recent seasons.

He won the BMW International Open in Germany on last year's European Tour and is still regarded as the longest hitter in the game. The American shot to prominence in 1991 when he won the US PGA Championship. He captured his second Major in 1995 at the British Open.

European Ryder Cup star Montgomerie is the only player to win the European Tour Order of Merit title seven times and will be a huge draw at the TCL Classic.

The Scot won the Order of Merit title on seven successive occasions from 1993 and has won 25 titles on the European Tour. Rated as one of the finest players of his era, Montgomerie has finished runner-up on no fewer than three times in Major championships.

TCL's first involvement with professional golf came at last year's Omega Hong Kong Open, where they were a co-sponsor.

The success of that tournament prompted TCL to inaugurate their own event on the mainland with the help of the Asian PGA. TCL's mobile phone company currently enjoys 7% market share of the mobile phone market in China. This share has leapt from around 3% last year.

The TCL Classic will be far and away the biggest Tour event played in China and will raise the profile of the game on the mainland.

China hosted the World Cup of Golf in 1995, which played an important part in the development of the game of golf in the country. The TCL Classic will be another landmark tournament that will be a massive boost for the sport in the region as a whole.

Immediately after the TCL Classic the Davidoff Tour moves to Taiwan for the BMW Asian Open, then onto the Omega Hong Kong Open before ending the season with the Volvo Masters of Asia in Malaysia.

"Harbour Plaza Golf Club is thrilled to be hosting an event of such magnitude in China. We are proud of the fine reputation that Harbour Plaza has built up over the past few years and we see the TCL Classic as a wonderful feather in our cap," said Kurt Michelsen, General Manager, Harbour Plaza Golf Club.

Prior to the announcement of the TCL Classic, total prize money for the year on the Davidoff Tour totalled US$9.7 million. With the addition of the TCL event, the Tour will break the US$10 million barrier for the first time in its eight-year history.

"We are extremely grateful to TCL for their decision to inaugurate this new tournament which will be welcomed by all our members who are always looking for new playing opportunities. The potential exists for tournament golf to really take off in China and the TCL Classic could well mark the start of a wonderful series of Davidoff Tour events on the mainland," said Ramlan Haron, Executive Director, Asian PGA.

The TCL Classic will form the 16th leg of this year's Davidoff Tour and with such a lucrative purse it is sure to play a key role in determining who wins this year's Davidoff Tour Order of Merit title.

TCL International is a prominent industry leader in the design, manufacture and sales of a wide range of household appliances in the PRC and overseas markets. Riding on the success of the mainstream businesses of multi-media consumer electronics products, TCL International is expanding into the arenas of information technology and communication products, including PCs, mobile handsets, Internet access devices and a range of value-added services. With an extensive nationwide sales network, top quality products, comprehensive after-sale services and strong research and development capabilities, TCL is regarded as one of the most reputable and valuable brand names in the PRC.

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