Rose heads a dazzling galaxy of stars

( China Daily )

Updated: 2018-09-18

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Shanghai's Sheshan International Golf Club will be the center of the glittering golf universe from Oct 25-28.

The WGC-HSBC Champions will feature arguably the most talented lineup ever seen in China, headed by newly crowned world No 1 and defending champion Justin Rose.

He'll be joined by world No 2 Dustin Johnson, 2018 US Open and US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, 2018 British Open champion Francesco Molinari and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

Local hero Li Haotong will also be in the hunt for a piece of the $10 million prize pool.

Johnson and Molinari are both former winners of the tournament, and Johnson and Koepka tied for second behind Rose last year.

"I really enjoy playing in front of the Chinese crowds, as you can sense their enthusiasm for the tournament," Johnson said on the weekend.

"Having won there a few years ago, it always feels special to return. I was very close to winning there again last year, so it would be great to head into the Christmas break after winning another WGC title against such an awesome field."

Fresh from his US PGA Championship win last month, Koepka said: "This will be my third time playing in the WGC-HSBC Champions and I am definitely hoping I can improve on last year, when I tied for second.

"It has been an amazing couple of months, but hopefully I am not done yet and can keep this momentum going to win my first World Golf Championships title in Shanghai."

Reed, who won his first major at the Masters in April and currently sits second in the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings said: "I always feel so lucky that we are able to travel the world and compete at some of the most amazing courses and cities in the world.

"I look forward to competing against the best players in the world in Shanghai. The Sheshan International Golf Club always offers a good test and I hope to play solid and have a chance to win a second WGC title."

Molinari, Italy's first major winner, agreed, adding: "Playing in Shanghai is very important to me. It was such a huge moment in my career when I won there in 2010.

"It gave me the confidence to know that I can deliver on the big occasions against the world's best. It is amazing to be returning to Sheshan, not only as a past champion which always feels good, but also as the reigning British Open champion."

Leanne Cutts, group head of marketing for HSBC, said: "In the 13 years since we first brought WGC-HSBC Champions to Shanghai, golf in Asia has experienced an incredible transformation.

"We are delighted to once again welcome the best of the best in world golf to 'Asia's major', where they will be cheered on by a Chinese audience that has grown dramatically in that time.

"HSBC has always been where the growth is, and we remain committed to working in partnership with the WGC to fulfill the potential of golf in the region.

"Continuing to attract the biggest players in the world to inspire the next generation of players and fans is a big part of that. With a field full of major winners, top 10 ranked players and homegrown talent, WGC-HSBC Champions remains an unmissable date on the global golf calendar."

As well as hosting the strongest player field in Asia, organizers have planned significant enhancements to every aspect of the spectator experience for this year's event, including adding virtual reality technology to the new Lakeside area boasting a spectator viewing platform with premium sightlines of the 2nd and 9th greens.

Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to get autographs and take photos with the world's best players through complimentary admittance to the Oct 24 proam.

As part of an on-going initiative to grow golf in China, fans aged 18 years and under enter for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Additional discounts are also available for students and families to ensure the event becomes more accessible to fans.

For more details on the WGC-HSBC Champions and all ticket information, log onto the website at https://www.hsbcgolf.com/mens or receive updates on the tournament's official WeChat account: HSBCChampions.

 
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