A chance for fame for Liang Wen-Chong
Volvo China Open, April 19 to 22, Binhai Lake Course
The Volvo China Open, from April 19 to 22, is the 18th staging of the tournament that takes place at the lovely Binhai Lake Course near Tianjin, 130km south-east of Beijing. The event is a new opportunity for golfers of the emerging golf nation to show the world their potential.
The Volvo China Open
has been growing in importance over the past few years. With a record prize purse of RMB20million (Approx. US$3million), many of the best players in world golf will travel to Tianjin to compete for the first prize and the winner’s cheque of RMB 3,3million (approximately $500,000).
Ian Poulter and defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts have confirmed that they will be present and so will Engelishman Paul Casey, Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, the veteran of the European Tour. He has won more titles than any other British player.
Defending the title
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts won his first Tour victory in China last year and is looking forward to defending the title. After victories on the European Tour in 2005 and 2008, Peter Hanson won twice in 2010 to earn a place in the Ryder Cup team. Hanson, who hopes to a return to the team this autumn, is playing well this year with top-5 finishes in the two World Golf Championship events in the States as well as second place at the Qatar Masters, after Paul Lawrie.
Bring home the title
For China’s golfers, winning the Volvo China Open would be like winning a Major title. Like last year, the big question is: will 33-year-old Liang Wen-Chong – China’s leading golfer – be able to bring the Volvo China Open title back ‘home’ for the first time since the event joined the European Tour in 2004? After winning the 2007 Singapore Masters of the European Tour, becoming the Volvo China Open 2012 champion would be the highlight of his career.
One of the most interesting entries of the tournament is former Beijing football star Deng Le-jun, who managed to grab the coveted spot in a qualifying tournament alongside Chongqing amateur Zhang Yi-ming and Kong Wei-hai.
Eco-tourism resort area
Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club is located in the Binhai Lake eco-tourism resort area. The tournament is played on the original links style par 72, 7007 metres long ‘North Dye Course’, that has deep and large pot bunkers and with most faced with traditional wooden sleepers. At least two holes are particularly challenging. The seventh hole is a short par 4 of 374 yards (about 341 m). The hole displays the Pete Dye style of facing bunkers with traditional wooden sleepers. The hole dog-legs to the right, challenging professional players to take the risk of hitting directly to the green. The 17th hole is a par 4 of 469 yards (about 428 metres), has double fairways and a green surrounded by pot bunkers. The North Dye Course is overall a great course, where the ever present wind creates yet more interesting challenge.
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