China’s new charity pro-am golf tournament designed to raise funds for each scholarship to an international educational programme was inaugurated by The University of St Andrews and China’s leading golf brand Mission Hills China who came together last month to celebrate the new milestone.
Mission Hills Group and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland embarked on this new programme to enable academically gifted young Chinese golfers to study at Scotland’s first university and improve their game at the Home of Golf.
Players competed over 18 holes of individual stroke play for the professionals, and 18 holes of Scramble in the team competition for the Challenge Trophy, sponsored by the University of St Andrews.
Thirty professionals from the Professional Golf Associations of the UK, US, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong and China took part in the tournament alongside some 80 amateurs from alumni of St-AndrewsUniversity, Hong Kong Artist Golf Association, Guangdong Golf Association, Shenzhen Golf Association, Mission Hills Golf Club members and other amateur golf teams.
Funds were raised through the combination of entry fee for the amateurs and an auction at the official reception, with prizes including prints of Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros, donated by the University; a Muirfield Club House print, signed by 2013 Open Champion, Phil Mickelson; a pair of pin flags signed by Ian Poulter; and an opportunity to play a four-ball with China’s top ranked professional golfer Liang Wen Chong.
Speaking at the prize presentation, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group, Tenniel Chu commented, “Both Mission Hills and St AndrewsUniversity share a vision to provide a best possible platform for future generations to benefit from. The partnership with the University of St. Andrews’ 600th anniversary tournament is one of the key components of Mission Hills’ commitment to golf development in China and around the world. It’s my honour to serve as the Vice Chairman for the inaugural tournament alongside with the Chairman, Mr. Arnold Palmer at St. Andrews. This annual tournament will enable talented young Chinese golfers to study at Scotland’s first university, and deepen the economic and cultural exchange between both countries.”
A spokesman for St Andrews said: “We hope that our joint enterprise will not only strengthen the friendship and broad cultural connections between our two countries, but allow academically gifted Chinese students the opportunity to study in Scotland. We are grateful for Mission Hills continuing support and vision to support international academic links.”
Furthermore, Mission Hills has supported the development of the University’s first golf museum for the international Special Collections, which includes extensive golf photography collections covering the development of golf from the 19th century onwards, including the Lawrence Levy collection of more than 250,000 images.
To build a heritage, it must start with youth. Mission Hills Group has hosted a series of junior tournaments partner with golf legends like Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Sir Nick Faldo and Annika Sorenstam. Annika Sorenstam was also present at the prize ceremony of the charity Pro Am to support the autographed items to the charity Pro Am. Annika was here on Mission Hills’ invitation to oversee the successful completion of the ANNIKA Invitational staged at Mission Hills. Now in its third year, the tournament is the first junior girls- only tournament in Asia and the first Annika invitational to be played outside of the United States.
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com
University of St Andrews www.st-andrews.ac.uk