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Michael Campbell aiming for HSBC double

Michael Campbell, winner of the 2005 HSBC World Match Play Championship and the 2005 US Open, has confirmed he will go for a unique double at the inaugural ‘HSBC Champions’ tournament in China.

Campbell will look to follow up his $1,840,000 first prize at Wentworth by collecting a further $833,300 in Shanghai for an unprecedented $2,673,300 total. Masters and Open Champion, Tiger Woods, stands in his path as he tees up for his first Official World Ranking tournament in China

The event offers the biggest prize fund ever on the Asian continent of US$5 million and takes place in Shanghai, at the Sheshan International Golf Club, from November 10-13, 2005. The HSBC Champions boasts a first prize of $833,300 and will be co-sanctioned by The European Tour, the Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Sunshine Tour and the China Golf Association. 

Campbell, whose win at the HSBC World Match Play Championship in September lifted him to Number 1 on the European Tour Order of Merit, is already looking forward to the HSBC Champions:

“I’ve had a fantastic year, winning my first Major and then the HSBC World Match Play Championship and, of course, taking home the biggest cheque of my career of £1 million. I love the history of the Match Play and am thrilled that my name will be listed amongst winners that include golfing legends Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. At the same time, I think it would be very special to be the first ever winner of the HSBC Champions, an event that will undoubtedly become a very important part of our golfing calendar.

"The HSBC Champions gives me a great opportunity to kick-start my 2006 season and to increase my world ranking.”

This exciting new tournament will bring together title winners across the four sanctioning Tours, along with many of the world’s leading players through the qualification criteria, including the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking as at September 12, 2005. HSBC has also made provision to invite eight Chinese players in a commitment to involve local talent and support the development of golf in that country.

With the creation of the HSBC Champions tournament in China, HSBC’s support for world golf now spans Asia, Europe and the USA. In Europe, the bank sponsors the HSBC World Match Play Championship offering the highest first prize in the history of golf at the Wentworth Club in the UK. Earlier this year, HSBC sponsored the only individual match play championship in women’s golf, in New Jersey, USA.

The prize fund of US$5 million will be the largest in the history of Asian and Chinese golf. Uniquely for a stroke play event, in an effort to reward golf’s rising stars, HSBC is also providing prize money for the entire field irrespective of whether they play the final two rounds after the 36-hole cut.

Asian Tour members who have qualified for the event are Kiyoshi Miyazato (Jpn), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Scott Strange (Aus), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha, Wang Ter-chang Wang (Tpe), Adam Le Vesconte (Aus), Choi Sang-ho Choi (Kor), Terry Pilkadaris (Aus)      ,  Lu Wei-chih (Tpe) and Prayad Marksaeng  (Tha).

Winners of the upcoming events on the Asian Tour Schedule, the Bangkok Airways Open, Haikou Open-Hainan Airlines Cup, Hero Honda Indian Open and Double A International Open in Thailand, will gain exemption.

In addition, the top five of the current Asian Tour Order of Merit as at November 7 will also earn an invite to play in Shanghai.

Partnered by tournament organisers IMG, HSBC will be title sponsor of the tournament for an initial period of five years. The HSBC Champions tournament will be broadcast in China on CCTV and internationally by European Tour productions.


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