LI TARGETS HISTORIC DOUBLE AT VOLVO CHINA OPEN

Defending champion Li Hao-tong will have history on his mind when the 2017 Volvo China Open gets underway at Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing on Thursday (April 27).

The 21-year-old Chinese star will be aiming to become the first two-time winner in the 23-year history of the tournament when he returns to the scene of his greatest triumph where a year ago he won his maiden European Tour title by three shots from Chile’s Felipe Aguilar.

Although Li has yet to add to that success, he has enjoyed a positive start to the 2017 season with a tie for fifth place alongside former Masters champion Danny Willett at the recent Maybank Challenge in Malaysia

But the champion knows he faces a stiff challenge for his crown from a powerful 156-man field that includes seven other former winners - such as 2015 champion and fellow Chinese star Wu Ashun - as well as 13 of the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, winner of last week in Shenzhen and holding sixth place in The Race to Dubai.

Among the other European big guns in the starting line-up is England’s Ross Fisher, currently fifth in The Race to Dubai, who will be looking to build on a strong performance in Shenzhen where he finished tied for third just one shot behind Wiesberger, and the 2008 winner of The Race to Dubai Robert Karlsson of Sweden.

Also lining up at Beijing’s Topwin Golf and Country Club will be the Danish duo of four-time European Tour winner Thorbjorn Olesen (tied seventh in Shenzhen) and 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn, a 15-time winner on the European Tour.

The RMB 20 million tournament will also see 41 Chinese players competing for the RMB 3.33 million first prize over a par-72, 7,261-yard course designed by the legendary Ian Woosnam and situated on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital in the hills of Huairou alongside the Great Wall of China.

Since its inauguration in 1995, the Volvo China Open has witnessed a record four winners from the most populous nation on earth and another Chinese win this week will undoubtedly be welcomed by the thousands of spectators expected to congregate along its spectacular fairways.

The Volvo China Open has enjoyed some wonderful performances over the years and having back-to-back Chinese winners with Wu Ashun in 2015 and Li Hao-tong in 2016 was a real milestone for the tournament,” said Sven De Smet, Chairman of the Volvo China Open Board and Vice President of Brand and Marketing, Volvo Car Asia Pacific.

As the longest-running sponsor of men’s professional golf, we at Volvo are delighted to have played our part in the growth of the sport not only in Europe but also in Asia Pacific.

This week, the Volvo China Open will become the 136th tournament – and the 86th on The European Tour - to be sponsored by Volvo and we look forward to welcoming 156 players from 26 different countries for what is truly a world-class international event.”

With 22 different winners over the years, the Volvo China Open - promoted and organised by Volvo in association with the China Golf Association - is an event that does not give up its title easily. For Li Hao-tong the aim will be to become the first repeat winner and to rewrite those record books when play gets underway at 6.45am on Thursday (April 27).

(2017-04-24 Beijing)

Ends

The 23rd staging of the Volvo China Open takes place from April 27th-30th at Topwin Golf and Country Club, Beijing. Volvo was the first western brand to engage with golf in China in 1995, and this will be Volvo's 86th tournament on the European Tour. The prize fund is RMB 20 million. The tournament is organized by the China Golf Association with Volvo Car Event Management as co-organizer and promoter, and is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and OneAsia.

 

 

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