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Golf: European Challenge Tour to visit China in October for the Foshan Open

20130801_Foshan Golf Club1

August 1, 2013: The European Challenge Tour will visit China for the first time in five years when the Foshan Open takes place from October 17-20 at Foshan Golf Club (pictured) in Guangdong Province.

 

Co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and the China Golf Association (CGA), the Foshan Open has a purse of US$350,000 and is the third-last event on this year’s schedule.

 

The 126-man field will comprise 63 players from the Challenge Tour and 63 from the host nation, including a number of sponsor’s invitations. With the 2016 Olympics in mind, the Foshan Open will provide an opportunity for the large Chinese contingent to gain World Ranking points.

 

“This is an important event for Chinese players,” said Zhang Xiaoning, Vice President and Secretary General of the Chinese Golf Association (CGA).

 

“Not only will it provide a great opportunity for Chinese players to demonstrate their skills, but they will also get the chance to pick up World Ranking points this year and hopefully in the future years leading up to the Olympics.”

 

Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “This is an important strategic step for the Challenge Tour. China is now a major player on the global golfing stage, so as an international Tour it’s very important for us to stage an event there.

 

“We have to give the China Golf Association full credit for helping us to get this new event up and running, and also to Foshan Golf Club for hosting and promoting it.”

20130801_FoshanHole 41Foshan Golf Club, in Shishan Town, Foshan City, recently underwent an extensive three-year renovation programme to bring it up to the standard required to host a major international tournament.

 

Keith Hardman, the club’s General Manager, said: “We’re very much looking forward to staging the Foshan Open, as it will feature the best of both worlds – a strong international presence and an equally large contingent of Chinese players.

“After our renovation, we have a world-class golf course and clubhouse facilities, and we can’t wait to present this to the world golfing community. Our team is delighted to have the opportunity not only of hosting the tournament, but also of promoting this exciting new event.”

 

The Foshan Open takes place a week before the European Tour’s US$7 million BMW Masters in Shanghai, while the same city then hosts the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions from October 31-November 3.

 

Women’s pro events in China during the autumn include the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing (October 3-6) and two Ladies European Tour events – the Sanya Ladies Open (October 25-27) and the China Suzhou Taihu Open (Nov 1-3)

 

The last time a Challenge Tour event was held in China was in September 2008, when Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin won the Qingdao Golf Open by six strokes.

 

This year’s Challenge Tour will conclude with the US$300,000 National Bank of Oman Golf Classic (October 24-27) and the €330,000 Challenge Tour Grand Final.

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