Mission Hills will this week write another chapter in its history of pioneering China’s golf development when it stages the first event of the 2015 PGA Tour China Series, the Buick Open.
The RMB1.2 million tournament is being held at Mission Hills Haikou on the tropical island of Hainan, the same venue that hosted the China Tour’s first ever event a year ago.
A field of 144 players will tee off on Thursday on the resort’s par-72 Sandbelt Trails course – the first step in a journey that will end in November with the top five in the Order of Merit earning playing rights for 2016 on the Web.com Tour in the United States.
“From the outset, Mission Hills has pioneered golf development in China, promoting the game by bringing global superstars to our resorts and hosting the world’s biggest junior golf programme,” said Mission Hills Group Vice Chairman Mr Tenniel Chu.
“Therefore, it is only natural that we should work closely with the PGA Tour and China Golf Association to ensure the China Tour is a lasting success. And it is entirely appropriate that, for the second year in a row, Mission Hills Haikou is staging the first tournament of the season.
“The China Tour gives homegrown players and challengers from overseas the opportunity to play a structured season that improves their game and sharpens their competitive edge. We are looking forward to some exciting golf in the days ahead.”
Veteran Zhang Lianwei – the first player from China ever to win a European Tour event – is among the players teeing it up this week and he says the China Tour is a massive boost for mainland golf.
“I played three tournaments on the PGA China Tour last year and it was great to see a rising star like Li Haotong [last year’s Order of Merit champion] emerge from the competition,” Zhang told a press conference at Mission Hills Haikou.
“As a player, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the related parties who have made the PGA China Tour possible.
“It provides a terrific platform for Chinese players to gain competition experience and improve their game. Unlike the golfers of my generation, now they don’t have to go overseas in order to achieve this.”
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com
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