October 2019 | Asian Tour

Li becomes first Chinese to hold opening round lead at the WGC HSBC Champions


Shanghai, October 31: China’s Li Haotong fired a spectacular eight-under-par 64 to become the first ever Chinese to hold the opening round lead at a World Golf Champions event when the WGC HSBC Champions got underway on Thursday.

With a passionate home crowd backing him at the Sheshan International Golf Club, Li did not disappoint them as he mixed his card with seven birdies, one eagle and a bogey to take a one-shot advantage over France’s Victor Perez.

Li gave his fans a lot to cheer about when he opened with two birdies on 10 and 11 in his back-nine 10.

After making three more birdies on holes 14, 17 and 18, he dropped his only shot of the day on the par-four first before providing one of the loudest cheers of the day with his eagle on the second hole.

The Chinese then added two more birdies on the third and eighth hole to stake his place atop the leaderboard after the first round.

Perez, who is making his WGC debut after claiming his maiden European Tour victory in Scotland last month, carded two eagles en route to a 65 while defending champion Xander Schauffele of the United States was tied for fourth with Korea’s Sungjae Im, Australia’s Adam Scott and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand signed for a 70 to start his maiden WGC appearance in tied-26th place, six shots back of Li.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 31: Xander Schauffele of United States of America makes a putt on the 9th green during Day one of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International golf club on October 31, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Did you know?

  • Li Haotong is the first player ever from China to hold a lead or co-lead after any round in a World Golf Championships event
  • Li’s previous best in 24 prior rounds at Sheshan International Golf Club was a six-under 66 in the first and third round in 2015.
  • Li is the highest ranked Chinese players on the Official World Golf Rankings at number 59
  • He finished tied-seventh at the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions to become the first Chinese player ever to finish in the top-10 at a WGC event.
  • Xander Schauffele led the field in birdies in the first round with nine.
  • He needed only 24 putts in the opening round, tied for second best in the field
  • Schauffele played the par-fours in five-under-par, two shots better than any player in the field in the first round.
  • He won his first World Golf Championships event at the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions with birdies on the 71st and 72nd holes to force a playoff with Tony Finau, which he won with a birdie on the first extra hole.
  • Jazz Janewattananond posted a tied-65th and 57th finish in Korea and Japan respectively prior to his arrival in Shanghai.
  • Jazz broke into top-100 on the OWGR after winning his third Asian Tour title in Singapore in January and marked his career-best ranking when he rose to 52nd position following his fourth victory in Korea in June.

Li Haotong (Chn) First round 64 (-8)

It was pretty good start today and it will be absolutely great for Chinese golfers and Chinese golf fans to have a Chinese player winning the WGC HSBC Champions here in China. But for the next three days, anything can happen. I don’t want to think too much about it. I just want to focus and concentrate on the upcoming three days because anything can happen. I just want to do a good job to keep this momentum going for the next three days. It’s always good feeling to know that you are leading a tournament. I wasn’t really playing that well before the start of this tournament. And so, it was a nice surprise to have such a great round. Actually, in the first few holes, I already made some good putts which made me feel more confident. Then when I birdied 17 and 18, two in a row, I knew I had gained that momentum and would end up with a a good finish.

Victor Perez (Fra) First round 65 (-7)

This is my first WGC event and I’m just very excited with this start. I think being around here and going down the fairway with some of the best players in the world is quite amazing. It’s really enjoyable. Obviously you just try to make the most out of it and it worked out to be a great day for me. I’m very pleased with how I played. I think I did a lot of things well today and I’m obviously in a great position after day one.

Xander Schauffele (Usa) First round 66 (-6)

It was nice especially when I made a few 35 and 40-footers today. I felt like I was going to make anything. The greens are perfect. My whole goal was to keep it out of the rough and hit it anywhere on the green and kind of get into my round. I didn’t have any practice. I didn’t play the Pro-Am. I didn’t play any practice round. I was just trying to ease my way into the round and luckily I did. Maybe I should just keep my flu going and if I can rattle off a 66 every day, I think that would be enough. I think with a couple more nights of sleep, I’ll be in better shape. But it was a dream start with what things are looking like.

Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) First round 70 (-2)

Yeah, it’s a better start than the last two events I had. I’m pretty happy with my round. Just a couple mistake, but it’s the first time playing this golf course. So we’ll learn and we’ll adapt. Now that I’ve played this course, I’ve an idea of how to play it better tomorrow and for the rest of the week. It’s a tough course and it’s demanding, so it’s going to be fun. My A game’s not yet here but I feel it’s coming. I hope it comes this week but I’m on the right track in getting there. I just need to hit a lot of greens. The rough’s pretty high here, so I just need to hit a lot of fairways. I managed to get a good couple up-and-down and made some good birdies. I’ll take that as a positive and use it for the next three rounds.


Sentosa, Singapore, October 30: Sentosa Golf Club, home to Singapore’s iconic Serapong and New Tanjong golf courses, has further underlined its position as a world-class destination by claiming top spot as the ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ at this year’s World Golf Awards.

Beating fierce competition from a number of other famous golf clubs around the world, the award recognises the central role Sentosa Golf Club has played in strengthening Singapore’s position as a hub for international tourism, showcasing the city’s worldwide appeal and growing the game as a vital sporting facility.

The newly crowned ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ has had an unprecedented amount of success recently, hosting no fewer than six globally televised golf events in just over 12 months – two SMBC Singapore Open’s, two HSBC Women’s World Championships, along with the Men’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific Championship.  This is an achievement unmatched by any other golf club in the world.

The ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ award was judged by an internal panel of experts who considered a broad spectrum of factors that combine to create a club of outstanding excellence.

Sentosa was also recognised for the quality of the club as a whole, including the standard of both course designs, a pioneering commitment to environmental sustainability through its #KeepItGreen campaign, the staging of the high profile professional and amateur events, and overall ability to present two championship golf courses in first class condition all year round. 

The presentation was made in front of the golf industry’s biggest names in Abu Dhabi, as the World Golf Awards introduced the new award to recognise one club in the world for its outstanding quality across the board. 

Overall, it was a hugely successful night at the World Golf Awards for Sentosa Golf Club with its very own Serapong Course claiming the title of ‘Singapore’s Best Golf Course’ for the second year in a row, rounding off another great year for a club at the very top of its game. Other notable golf courses picking up awards included 2018 Open Championship venue, Carnoustie Golf Links and 2017 U.S. Open Venue, Erin Hills.

On Sentosa Golf Club receiving the awards, Sentosa Golf Club General Manager and Director of Agronomy Mr Andrew Johnston commented: “It is a huge honour for Sentosa to be recognised by The World Golf Awards as the ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ and once again as ‘Singapore’s Best Golf Course’. By being bestowed with such honours, it is testament to all the hard work and dedication that goes into achieving the club’s standards and maintaining two championship courses that impress both professional and amateur players from all around the world. It is achievements like this that allow Sentosa Golf Club to continually develop year on year and remain at the very top. We are very grateful to the World Golf Awards for humbling us with such an accolade.”

Singapore Tourism Board Chairman Mr Chaly Mah said:“Our primary goal is to ensure Singapore remains an attractive business and leisure destination where possibilities can be realised and passion made possible. From F1 to the great golf tournaments Sentosa hosts, it’s events like these that help to put Singapore in the spotlight and enhance our tourism products. And to have Sentosa Golf Club recognised with such a prestigious accolade is further recognition for this great city. Thank you to all the team at Sentosa Golf Club for their passion and hard work, which has not only made us proud, but can inspire us to reach for extraordinary new heights in trying to achieve our goals.”

Sentosa Development Corporation Chairman Mr Bob Tan said: It is an honour for Sentosa Golf Club to receive two awards at this year’s World Golf Awards. We are very proud of the dedicated and hardworking team of passionate people who continually strive to make our golf courses amongst the best in the world. In doing so, Sentosa’s position within the top global tourist destinations, for both local and overseas visitors, is appreciably enhanced. Congratulations and well done Sentosa Golf Club.”

Singapore Golf Association President Mr Ross Tan said: “As the national governing body of golf here in Singapore, we are privileged to have the support of Sentosa Golf Club to help us develop and nurture the talent of local golfers for the future. Through a dedicated sponsorship programme, by allowing our junior golfers access to the best practice facilities Asia has to offer, as well as two championship golf courses in tournament ready conditions, Sentosa Golf Club is helping us give local golfers the best possible chance to compete on the world stage. It is no surprise to us that they have been recognised with these awards, given how committed they are to promote and develop the sport in Singapore, and all the hard-working team at Sentosa must take a lot of credit for the latest accolades.”

R&A Asia Pacific Director Mr Dominic Wall said: “We have a strong association and partnership with Sentosa Golf Club and Singapore. As our Asia Pacific HQ it plays a key role in our efforts to support the development of golf, which is a specific aim of ours both in Singapore and throughout the region.  Through The Open Qualifying Series at the SMBC Singapore Open, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific – events hosted on Sentosa’s courses, we’ve seen Asian players benefit from such platforms to play in major championships and experience what it feels like to rub shoulders with the world’s best in tournaments such as The Open,  Masters and AIG Women’s British Open. Receiving an accolade of this nature is an acknowledgement that the club deserves simply for its commitment to grow the game.”

This year the Serapong Course once again played host to the SMBC Singapore Open, which was won by Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond. Next year’s tournament will return in January (16th – 19th) and is set to be one of the most memorable to date, with all three current Olympic medallists, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar, all confirmed to attend.

The Serapong Course was designed by the world-famous golf course design firm Golf Plan and Ronald Fream, and was opened in 1982. Since then, the layout of the course has been re-altered by the Bates Golf Design Group and was the assignment of golf course architect and the club’s current General Manager, Andrew Johnston. Today, its trademark contours, extended stone-lined lakes and the breath-taking Singapore harbour backdrop, make for an exquisite game that means the course is currently ranked in Golf Digest’s ‘World’s Greatest Golf Courses’. The New Tanjong was also recently named by Golf Digest as the second-best golf course in Singapore, behind the Serapong at number one.

The World Golf Awards are voted for by leading golf tourism professionals as well as hundreds of thousands of golf consumers worldwide, serving to recognise and celebrate commitment to excellence in golf tourism.

Ends.


Shanghai, October 30: World number two Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is looking forward to closing the gap on the world rankings as he makes his eighth appearance at the WGC HSBC Champions which starts on Thursday.

Fresh off a tied-third finish in Japan last week, McIlroy will return to action, paired together with defending champion Xander Schauffele of the United States and England’s Justin Rose who won the WGC HSBC Champions in 2017 in the opening two rounds.

With world number one Brooks Koepka forced to withdraw from the year’s final World Golf Championships event due to injury, McIlroy knows he has every opportunity to push himself closer towards the summit of the Official World Golf Ranking with good result this week.

Schauffele will be hoping to recover in time and deliver another standout performance at the Sheshan International Golf Club.

The American fell sick in Japan last week and is still trying to shake off its effects, opting to withdraw from the day’s pro-am as a precaution.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond is hopeful that being in elite company this week will help him rediscover his best form.

The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader is making his debut at the WGC HSBC Champions and is expected to spearhead the Asian charge this week.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 30: Xander Schauffele of United States of America talks to media during a Pro-Am ahead of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 30, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Did you know?

  • The WGC-HSBC Champions will feature 35 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Rory McIlroy is making his eighth appearance at the WGC-HSBC Champions. His best finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions is fourth in 2009.
  • McIlroy has two career World Golf Championships victories- 2014 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and 2015 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
  • He started the year at world number eight and moved up to number two through his three victories, including The Players Championship and Tour Championship, along with runner-up finishes in two World Golf Championships.
  • Schauffele defeated Tony Finau on the first playoff hole with a two-putt birdie for his first career World Golf Championships victory
  • He birdied the final two holes on his way to the lowest round of the day in the final round at the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions with a four-under 68 to force a playoff with Finau after entering the day three shots back.
  • Schauffele remains the only player in the field in 2018 to shoot in the 60s in both the third and final round (69-68)
  • Schaueffle is making his third career start at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He finished tied-46th in his maiden appearance in 2017.
  • Jazz Janewattananond posted a tied-65th and 57th finish in Korea and Japan respectively prior to his arrival in Shanghai.
  • Jazz broke into top-100 on the OWGR after winning his third Asian Tour title in Singapore in January and marked his career-best ranking when he rose to 52nd position following his fourth victory in Korea in June.
  • Jazz’s tied-14 finish at the 2019 PGA Championship, which was his second Major start, was the best-ever result by a Thai player in that Major tournament.
  • There are seven Chinese players are in the field. They are Bai Zhengkai, Dou Zecheng, Li Haotong, Liang Wenchong, Wu Ashun, Carl Yuan, Zhang Xinjun.
  • Seven past champions of the WGC-HSBC Champions are in the field this week. They are Phil Mickelson (2009), Francesco Molinari (2010), Ian Poulter (2012), Bubba Watson (2014), Hideki Matsuyama (2016), Justin Rose (2017), Xander Schauffele (2018).


Rory McIlroy (Nir)

It’s always good to be back. Sheshan has become probably one of the best venues and courses that we come to every year. I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I’ve played well. I feel like the course suits my game and I like this tournament ever since I started coming here in 2009.

It has been 10 years and the course and the tournament have kept on improving and progressing. It has turned into one of the better events that we play every year, so I’m excited to be back. I didn’t play so well last year here, so I’ve got a good opportunity to play well this week. There’s quite a bit to play for until the end of the year. I want to get as many World Ranking points as I possibly can and try to close that gap on the number one. So you know, I’m pretty motivated coming into the week. I feel like this year went very well. I played very consistently. I think last week in Japan was my 17th top-10 of the year, so I’ve played consistent golf and I’ve won a few times, as well. It was great to get the win at THE TOUR Championship and win the FedExCup. I started this year maybe like 8th or 9th in the world, so to see that progress and to play so well and get myself back up to number two with a chance of closing that gap. If I play well the next few weeks, you know, I’ll have a great platform going into next year. I’ve achieved most things that I’ve wanted to this year and once I end this calendar year, I’m going to take a couple months off in December and January, and  thenreset goals and assess where I’m at and then go again.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 30: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks to media during a Pro-Am ahead of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 30, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Jazz Janewattananond (Tha)

I’ve been trying to make the best of this Asian swing but it has not turned out the way I wanted. But it’s all good as it’s a brand new week and I can reset and do better this week. This is my first WGC event and it’s always a good experience to play against the best players in the world. I’m just very excited about this week. It’s always good each time you get a chance to step up your game and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.

Xander Schauffele (Usa)

It’s very special to be back. Obviously with my family ties, mom being from Chinese Taipei and having family all over Asia, it’s the biggest tournament (win) of my career, and it was a great confidence booster. It has allowed me to gain self-belief and that I do belong out here. I’m about to go to the range after this and we’ll see how fast I can swing on TrackMan. My family is my closest team. They make me feel very comfortable, especially, for example, at a time right now when I’m sick. I don’t want to do a whole lot. My family will step in and take care of a lot of things for me. Besides that, my dad has been with me since I was very young, every step of the way, same as my mom, supporting from home when she couldn’t come out. For both of them to be here now and sharing this experience with me on the road and trying to win tournaments is very special for all of us.

Li Haotong (Chn)

It’s a good feeling coming back to play at the WGC-HSBC Champions. I prepare for this tournament the same way as how I do for every other events. In terms of the golf course, it seems to be more challenging this year with the thicker rough and faster greens. Chinese players have been playing well in recent years and I feel we are beginning to close the gap with some of the best players in the world. We just need more exposure to the various golf courses around the world. As for myself, I’m hoping for a breakthrough this week especially at this event which has lots of world ranking points. It was really nice to see Tiger win again last week, considering what he has gone through and his comeback is legendary.

Justin Harding (Rsa)

It’s absolutely nice to be back in Shanghai and getting the chance to play in this event again. I got the opportunity to play in it last year due to my success on the Asian Tour. I’m looking forward to having another good week and try to finish the year with a bang. It has been a strange year to be honest. I had a good run of form and then it kind of took a slight dip in the middle. I felt like I was always playing my way into the next week and there was no real opportunity to take a break. And when I did have the chance to take a break, it was completely away from golf. It was not something I was used to. Normally when I take breaks, I usually practise a bit or have an odd round or two. It has been a learning curve. I didn’t really think I was going to continue that kind of form and posting those kind of results on a consistent basis. But I’m hoping I’m now out of my little rut and see if I can have some good finishes to round off the year.

Scott Hend (Aus)

It’s a great golf course and event with lots of great players here this week. It’s obviously important to play well this week as the event’s jampacked with lots of world ranking points and I need that to move up the ladder and get back to the position where I feel like I should be. With the strength of the field this week, you cannot get away by playing average golf and expect to finish top-20 or something. You got to play really well. My season in the last four months have been pretty average because of a few club changes I have made. I’m trying to get back and play solid golf again.


Shanghai, October 29: China’s Li Haotong is ready to carry the hopes of the country as he spearheads its charge at the WGC HSBC Champions which starts on Thursday.

The world number 59 is under no illusion it will be an easy task with the star-studded field glittered by 10 of the world’s top-20 players at the Sheshan International Golf Club this week.

However, Li believes that with many Chinese players making several eye-catching performances worldwide recently, it is possible to harbour bold ambitions and make that breakthrough at the season’s final World Golf Championships event which is also the only WGC event to be staged in Asia.

South Africa’s Justin Harding is meanwhile hoping to recover from his mini slump where he has missed the cut in three of his last five events.

Harding, a two-time Asian Tour winner, started the year promisingly with a win in Qatar followed by a creditable tied-12 finish at The Masters Tournament where he was making his debut.

However, the South African’s form has been erratic in the last few months which he now hopes to correct and end the year on a high note.

Like Harding, Australia’s Scott Hend is also looking for consistency after lifting his 10th Asian Tour title in Malaysia earlier this year.

Hend has not reached similar heights since his success in March, struggling to lift his game since making changes to his game.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 29: A general view of the ‘Old Tom Morris Cup’ during a practice round prior to the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 29, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Did you know?

  • Li Haotong is making his seventh appearance at the tournament with his best finish coming in 2010 where he finished a tie for seventh.
  • Li turned professional in 2011 and captured his first title in 2014 at the Jianye Tianzhu Henan Open.
  • The Chinese has three top-10 finishes, including a tied ninth place finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this year.
  • Justin Harding made his WGC-HSBC Champions debut last year where he finished tied-46th.
  • He started the year strongly with a win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March, followed by a tied-second finish in Kenya the following week.
  • Harding posted a tied-12th result in his debut at the Masters Tournament.
  • Justin Harding won his first Asian Tour title in his first start on the 2018 Asian Tour season with his win in Indonesia in July last year. He immediately took up the Tour membership after his victory.
  • Harding later claimed a six-shot victory in Thailand to become the first player since 2011 to win back-to-back titles on the Asian Tour.
  • The South African ended his 2018 Asian Tour season in third place on the Order of Merit.
  • Scott Hend won his 10th Asian Tour title at the Maybank Championship in March.
  • He is the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2016
  • All of Hend’s wins have come in Asia.
  • Hend is the fourth player after Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng to obtain 10 wins or more on the Asian Tour.
  • Hend held the number one spot on the Asian Tour Order of Merit for 13 weeks before being dislodged by Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond after the Thai won the Kolon Korea Open in June.
  • Hend’s best result at the WGC-HSBC Champions is tied-19th in 2015.

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, October 29: The Asian Tour will return to Malaysia for the third time this season for the Sabah Masters which will take place at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club from November 21 to 24.

The Sabah Masters will be the ninth full-field event on the Asian Tour this season and offers a prize purse of US$300,000.

The new event is supported by Tourism Malaysia which aims to boost tourism in Sabah, a Malaysian state located on the northern portion of Borneo. The event is also featured as part of the 2019 PGM Tour calendar.

The Sabah Masters will provide the region’s leading players, along with professionals from Malaysia, the opportunity to vie for top honours at the full-field Asian Tour event.

Ben Leong of Malaysia

Asian Tour winner Ben Leong of Malaysia, lauded the staging of the event, saying it is a privilege for him to play an Asian Tour event in his home state.

“It’s going to be awesome playing an Asian Tour event at home. We have played in Sabah on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) but this is the first time in 20 years that we are playing an Asian Tour event here. It will be a great boost for Sabah,” said the Sabahan.

“I am sure all the players will have a great time in Sabah. The food is great here and everything is close by. Sutera Harbour is a modern resort golf course. It can play fairly straightforward or difficult, depending on how the officials set it up,” added Leong.

Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Commissioner and CEO, said: “I would like to thank Tourism Malaysia and Sutera Harbour for their support. I am sure this event will help promote Sabah as a tourist destination through the Tour’s global coverage via its digital media channels and television platform. I look forward to a successful staging of the Sabah Masters next month.”

Rick Blackie, General Manager of the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club, also expressed his excitement, saying: “We are very pleased to see the Sabah Masters return to its spiritual home at Sutera Harbour Resort for the 2019 running of the tournament.

“Now that the event is flying under the banner of the one of the world’s major tours, the Asian Tour; it will great to showcase our course and the Resort to the best golfers in the region and see how they fare.”

Designed by leading golf course designer Graham Marsh, the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club boasts 27 holes for day and night golfing and has garnered various awards of distinction.

It is located on the island of Borneo where the golf course is finished with Bermuda grass and strategically challenging bunkers. It is beautifully landscaped with undulating terrain and numerous waterways, providing a challenge for both amateurs and top professionals alike.

The Asian Tour last visited Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah state, when it held the 2008 Qualifying School in multiple locations in December 2007. Leong topped the class in front of his home supporters that year for his second straight Qualifying School win.

Ends.


Shanghai, October 25: Several of the best players from the Asian Tour will be bracing for their next challenge when they take on the world’s biggest stars at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions next week.

As the Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond will spearhead the Tour’s challenge against a star-studded field where world number two Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will headline the event along with a host of Major winners at the Sheshan International Golf Club.

Jazz has come a long way since losing his Asian Tour card in 2016.

After making his Asian Tour breakthrough in Bangladesh in 2017, the Thai has seen his fortune soared with another win on home soil last year followed by another two victories at the National Opens of Singapore and Korea this year.

“It’s been a really good year with the two wins on the Asian Tour and other top finishes both in Asia and Japan and I feel my game has continued to develop in the right direction.

“It’ll then be a nice way to finish the Asian Swing with my first ever appearance in the World Golf Championships at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. We’ll have the top golfers gathering from all the international tours and I’m looking forward to it,” said Jazz.

Along with Jazz, other Asian Tour members who will be making their debuts at the WGC-HSBC Champions include Australia’s Daniel Nisbet, Korea’s Taehee Lee, the Japanese trio of Mikumu Horikawa, Yosuke Asaji and Masahiro Kawamura, American Kurt Kitayama, Australia’s Jake Mcleod and Jbe Kruger of South Africa.

Liang Wenchong, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, is among the seven Chinese players who will be carrying the hopes of the host country and is no stranger to the playing at the WGC-HSBC Champions where his best result was tied-15th in 2013.

South Africa’s Justin Harding is also hoping to make another impression on the world stage after his exploits at the Masters tournament in April where he surprised the field by finishing in a commendable tied-12 position in April.

Australia’s Scott Hend is among the 12 Asian Tour members who will step up to the tee and will be looking better his best result which was a tied-19th finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2015.

“I’m looking forward to playing in another WGC event in Shanghai at the end of the month. Sheshan is a great golf course and I look forward to playing well there,” said Hend, a 10-time Asian Tour winner.

Ends.


Jakarta, October 22: The highly rated BNI Indonesian Masters will be played once again at its traditional home, Royale Jakarta Golf Club, when it returns for its ninth edition on the Asian Tour from December 12 to 15, 2019.

The popular Asian Tour event will continue to be part of the Panasonic Swing and the winner of the BNI Indonesian Masters will again receive a coveted spot in the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.

By being the flagship event of the Asian Tour, the BNI Indonesian Masters will award the winner with no less than 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, ensuring more players benefit from the points breakdown in what will be the penultimate event of the 2019 season.

The OWGR points will become more significant as it will be used to determine players’ qualification for the prestigious 60-man event at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next July. It will also be key for players vying to qualify for the Major tournaments next year.

The Indonesian Masters has played a key role in developing the game of golf in Indonesia and across the region since its inception in 2011. This is evident when Indonesia welcomed its first ever Asian Tour winner in Rory Hie, who won in India last month.

Last year, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin fended off the challenges from his more illustrious rivals to win the 2018 Indonesian Masters by three shots for his third Asian Tour victory.

It was a class act by Poom as he showed that he would not be cowed into submission against an elite field which included marquee players Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who were ranked number one and 27th respectively on the OWGR then.

Poom, who had cruised to a comfortable five-shot victory for his first Asian Tour win in 2016, is the second player following Lee Westwood to win the event more than once. Lee had won the event for a record three times in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger triumphed in 2013 while Anirban Lahiri of India emerged victorious in 2014. Rose claimed his third win in seven weeks at the 2017 Indonesian Masters after he recorded a commanding eight-shot victory with an impressive four-day total of 29-under-par 259.

“On behalf of our members, I would like to welcome the return of the BNI Indonesian Masters onto the 2019 schedule. The tournament has grown into one of the premier events in the region over the years and I believe it will be another exciting week of golf when the tournament gets underway in December,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO, Asian Tour.

The Indonesian Masters, which has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2011, will be backed by PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (BNI), an Indonesian state-owned bank, for the third time this December.

Anggoro Eko Cahyo, Consumer Business Director of Bank Negara Indonesia, said, “We are thrilled to be back as title sponsor of the Indonesian Masters. This year, 144 professional and amateur golfers will compete to show their best skills. Through BNI support, we sincerely hope to be able to help in the development of golf, and be able to capture young talented golfers from Indonesia who can show their exceptional talents internationally.”

Anggoro Eko Cahyo, Consumer Business Director of Bank Negara Indonesia, said
for this year this is our fourth time to be involved with Indonesian Masters. We feel that Indonesian Master is a tournament that is able to show that Indonesia is a country that has the potential to be invested through BNI. Other than that we are hoping to support the development sports of golf, and to also attract the young golfer who can represent Indonesia and speak to International audience.”

The Indonesian Masters will form the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing, a ranking based on an aggregate points race that spans five events with Asian Tour players chasing a share of a lucrative bonus pool.

Aside from BNI, this prestigious international event is also supported by BRI Bank. Prilly Savitri, EVP Marketing Communication of Bank Rakyat Indonesia expressed his support for the 2019 Indonesian Masters event. “This international level tournament provide valuable experience because this event is attended by golfers from all over the world. In addition to developing golf in the country, this international tournament is also good to introduce Indonesia to foreign countries,” said Prilly.

While Hilmi Panigoro as the President Director of MedcoEnergi revealed, “We strongly support the holding of the 2019 Indonesian Masters. For us this event is a premier event in the country and we hope that our participation can continue to improve golf achievements in Indonesia.”

Fans across the region can also catch all the action live on television as all four days of the Indonesian Masters will be broadcast on the Asian Tour’s television platform. The Indonesian Masters, which was inaugurated in 2011, will be the penultimate event of the 2019 season. “I hope that this tournament will be held successfully at Royale Jakarta Golf Club,” said Cho Minn Thant.

Ends.


Shanghai, October 11: Reigning Open champion Shane Lowry, 2018 Master Champion Patrick Reed, 2017 Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia and multiple major winners Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson have confirmed their entry into ‘Asia’s Major’ taking place in Shanghai at the end of this month to compete for the coveted WGC-HSBC Champions title.

With Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Justin Rose already committed, reigning Champion Xander Schauffele will have his work cut out come October 31 to November 3, 2019 at Sheshan International Golf Club, where the field will be awash with Major Champions trying to claim Asia’s most prestigious golf trophy.

Other major winners adding yet more international star-power to the field include 2016 Masters Champion, Danny Willett, fresh from his win at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship, 2017 Open Champion, Henrik Stenson and 2010 Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen ensuring that the WGC-HSBC Champions will be the ‘must attend’ event of the season as the world’s best golfers compete for an increased prize fund of US$10.25 million.

Irish star, Shane Lowry won his first major at Royal Portrush earlier this summer, ensuring a fairy-tale ending to what was The Open’s first visit to Ireland since 1951. With his sights now set firmly on qualifying for the 2020 Ryder Cup, Lowry is eying the WGC-HSBC Champions as an important landmark to set him on his way.

The popular Irishman said. “I am looking forward to turning up in Shanghai as a major Champion to compete for the final World Golf Championships title of the year. It has been a very special time since winning The Open and I have honestly enjoyed every minute of it.

However, with the European Ryder Cup Qualifying process kicking off earlier this month, I am now looking to finish the season on a high and the WGC-HSBC Champions is where I have all my focus. Even although it is early days in the qualifying process, getting myself up the Ryder Cup standings will certainly help me relax over the off season and enjoy Christmas all the more.”

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 27: Patrick Reed of the United States plays his shot from the first tee as Phil Mickelson of the United States looks on during the second round of the WGC – HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 27, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

American Phil Mickelson is hugely popular amongst the Chinese fans, having first played at the Sheshan International Golf Club in 2007 when he went on to win the title on his debut.

He explained: “I can’t wait to return to Shanghai. My family and I have such great memories of our visits there and I love playing golf in front of my Chinese fans, who bring such a fresh excitement and energy to the course that you can’t help but enjoy every minute. I am feeling in the best shape of my life, having been working out really hard, so I feel full of energy and ready to end the season with the best possible result.”   

Jonathan Castleman, HSBC’s Global Head of Brand Partnerships, said: “We are delighted that this thrilling line up of Major Winners will be joining the stellar cast we have lined up in Shanghai later this month.  Shane Lowry is reigning Champion of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and The Open, of which we are a Patron.  We look forward with anticipation to see if he can make it a hat trick of trophies for 2019.  Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson are all our previous Champions at Sheshan so it is great to welcome them back to Shanghai for Asia’s Major.

WGC-HSBC Champions has gained an unrivalled reputation by assembling elite fields and delivering incredible experiences for all, there is simply nothing like it in Asian golf. This tournament has been a catalyst for so many exciting developments for golf in China at all levels and we look forward to that journey continuing.”

Fans can take advantage of a special ticket promotion this month offering selected tickets at discounts of up to 25% off ending October 27.  Juniors aged 18 years and under can enter for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult with additional discounts also available for students and families.

For more details on the WGC-HSBC Champions and all ticket information, please visit https://www.hsbcgolf.com/mens or follow the official WeChat Mini Program: HSBCChampions