The history of the Volvo China Open, the growing development of Chinese golf and the success of the 25th anniversary were on the agenda when tournament organisers and key figures from the event’s past got together for an informal meeting with Chinese and international media at Genzon Golf Club.

Volvo China Open Board Chairman Sven de Smet and Board Vice Chairperson Michelle Zhao were joined by three of the tournament’s founding fathers – Mel Pyatt, the former CEO of Volvo Event Management; Dr Alywin Tai, former Managing Director of the first event promoter Richtone Worldwide; and the event’s former Tournament Director Alistair Polson.

“We are delighted to see the event as it is today – when we began this journey all those years ago, who could have imagined how important this event would become?” said Pyatt, a man with more than 300 golf tournaments under his belt.

“I haven’t been back to the tournament since 2007 so I am so happy to see how it has continued to grow and I congratulate Volvo and the China Golf Association for all they have done. When we started this we always intended that the tournament was for the people of China – today it is your tournament, your baby.”

The informal gathering – known as Cozy Corner – allowed journalists the chance to hear of the challenges and stories from behind the scenes, while Michel Zhao explained how the Volvo leverages its involvement with the tournament to engage its dealers, partners, customers and potential customers.

Dr Tai, the former General Manager of the first golf club in Mainland China, Zhongshan Hot Springs Golf Club, outlined how Chinese golf had experienced had prospered in the years since the tournament.

“We can see today how much the game has benefited from those decisions made long ago,” he said. “This week there were a record 45 Chinese players in the field for this tournament, while one of them – Kuang Yang – became the second youngest player history to make the cut in a European Tour event. When you also look at the way players such as Li Haotong and Wu Ashun are playing on the world stage, you can clearly see how times have moved on for golf in China.”







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