Fragrant hills international Beijing Open set for tee off
Beijing, June 21: The ¥1.35 million Fragrant Hills International Beijing Open, which is the second stop on the China Tour, is set to welcome 141 players from 17 countries when it tees off from June 22-25.
The week is poised for an intriguing battle between some of China and the region’s promising talents as the event will feature the likes of Korea’s Cho Rak Hyun, Zhang Hulin, Chao Haimeng, He Zeyu as well as seven other Tour champions.
Young guns including Andy Zhang Huali, Zhang Wang Youxin, Ye Wocheng and Lin Yuxin will also step up to the tee.
Andy Zhang was the youngest player to ever compete at the U.S. Open at the age of 14 and also the first from China while, Ye at 12 years, 242 days, was the youngest player to tee up at an European Tour event.
Mr. Pang Zheng, Deputy Secretary General, China Golf Association said at today's press conference, “The China Tour and development of golf in China would not have been possible without everyone’s support. The China Tour plays an important role in the development of golf in China.
“We have witnessed the emergence of several promising talents over the past two years. Just last week, we received the good news of Li Haotong making the weekend cut at the U.S. Open, establishing a new record for China golf.”
Pang continued to provide an update on the Tour schedule and said, “Our fourth stop will officially be staged at Yunnan and we hope to receive the continued support from players and the media. As the schedule intensifies, we are looking forward to welcoming a quality field as well.”
For this week, The Fragrant Hills International Golf Club will host its first ever China Tour event.
General Manager Wang Xiaochen of the club welcomed the arrival of players, guest, sponsors and the media to the club. She said, “The development of professional golf in China is important. As a golf club, we are pleased to do our part and help with this development.”
Korea’s Cho Rak Hyun, who won on the China Tour last week, was full of praise for the golf course. He said, “The course compares highly to the rest of the other international golf courses I’ve played in. It is beautiful and conditions are very good,”
The Fragrant Hills International Golf Club was opened in 2005 and features a 27-hole championship course of international standard. This week’s tournament will played on the A and B course. The par-71, 7273-yard course will provide players with the sternest test.
China’s Huang Wenyi said, “I’ve played on this golf course a couple of times and I find that it’s in exceptional conditions this week. The greens and fairways are all in perfect conditions.
Zhao Lehyun added, “I’ve played in several other championship courses before and the Fragrant Hills International Golf Club is no different. The course is in superb conditions.”
Huang, who had the opportunity to play on the course on Monday and Tuesday, continued,
“The key to doing well on this golf course is your putting. Now that the course has been converted from a par-72 to par-71, there are several holes out there which will make your tee shots more challenging. You got to be patient. Rain is forecast for the week. But it’s not going to be a big problem as everyone will be playing under the same conditions.”
As the China Golf Tour looks set to welcome its second event, China Tour’s Chief legal officer Mr. Jino also spoke about the branding of golf in china and how tournaments and players can help promote the tour positively.
“Fragrance hill international was the filming location for the people's reputation, a film that tells the story of the current golfing scene in China and how it has not been marketed properly.
“But to the world it's a classy and healthy sports so we have to aim to go back to the core value of the sports itself, in hope of generating more support amongst the general public.
“The level of competition on the China Tour is highly competitive, but to return to the core values of the sports, we need to see the hard work of the players.
“Take for example, the need for players to portray a positive image, associations to function legally, improve the standards of play, sponsors to adopt the same ideology and values, media to publicise positive messages. The China Golf Tour has already started to influence the golf clubs and sponsors with this idea. I'm sure this will help bring the game to greater heights in future
“With great foresight, China's golf scene development and the progress of the Chinese tour can reflect the image of the country's peaceful rise.
“We hope to produce a golfing star like that of Yao Ming and we seek the support of sponsors in helping us recreate this new branding of the golfing scene in China"
The Fragrant Hills International Beijing Open will get underway on Thursday with China’s Zhang Huilin, He Zeyu and Korea’s Cho Rak Hyun, last week’s champion, teeing off together in the same group.