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World's top players line for HSBC Champions Tournament

World number two Vijay Singh has confirmed that he will be lining up alongside Tiger Woods, the world's top-ranked player, in the inaugural HSBC Champions Tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club from November 10-13.

Fijian Singh said: "I think the HSBC Champions is going to be a really exciting fixture on our golfing calendar and with a prize fund of US$5 million, the largest in the history of Asian and Chinese golf, it is an event we all want to win."

Korean star, Choi Kyung-ju, who won for the second time on the US PGA Tour this month at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, has also confirmed his intention to challenge for the biggest prize fund ever on the Asian continent. Choi, known better as KJ, enthused: "I am really looking forward to the HSBC Champions and returning to Shanghai . It is a fantastic time for golf in China and I think there will be a great atmosphere at the tournament as the fans come to watch so many of the world's top players."

Local favourite Zhang Lian-wei will also be playing in the tournament, courtesy of an invitation awarded by the Chinese Golf Association. "It is an honour for me to be invited to play in an event with stars such as Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. I aim to make the very most of this opportunity. I will endeavour to play my best at this important tournament as it is in China , in front of my home crowd and with so many great champions in the field."

Mu Hu, the talented Chinese teenager whose game has been honed at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida , is another special invitee who will attract a lot of interest over the week.

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.

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 .

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-5 and internationally by European Tour productions.

October 24, 2005

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