Changbaishan Wanda Open gets underway as local branded events light up the scene
Beijing, June 28: A elite 118-men field from 16 different countries will vie for a prize purse of ￥1,350,000 and a five-star trophy at the Changbai Shan Wanda Open, which gets underway at the picturesque Jilin White Birch Club on Thursday.
For the second straight year, players will shoot for glory at the scenic White mountain, which is boasting a perfect weather of 22 degree Celsius this week. The Changbai Shan Wanda Open has attracted a strong field, just like the last two events on the China Tour.
Rak Hyun Cho, who won the season-opener, and Brighton Macpherson, who won the tournament last week, will feature in the event alongside local prospect Zhang Huilin, a two-time winner on the China Tour.
As the summer holidays get underway, the China Tour also welcomed a host of young local amateurs returning home to participate in the event. They include the likes of Zhang Huachuang, Xue Han, Dong Xueze, Wang Youxin and Jiang Zhijie.
Xue, Dong, Wang and Jiang earned their spots through the Qualifier on Tuesday. They represent a new force in the local golf scene and symbolize the continuous development of the Tour.
LOCAL BRANDED EVENTS SHOW POSITIVES
The 2017 China Tour season has seen the completion of two events, welcoming new champions in Rak Hyun Cho of Korea and Bryden Macpherson of Australia.
Pang Zheng, Deputy Secretary General, China Golf Association, said: “We have had some great drama, especially in the last tournament where we witnessed the play-off duel between Cho and Brighton, who emerged victorious on the third extra hole. The top-notch action shows the rise in playing standards on Tour, which boast a fair and open platform that is on par with the international Golf Tours.”
“We also see that the China Tour is like a platform for local players and Olympic players to hone their skills. This week, we saw four amateurs coming through the Qualifier with flying colours on Tuesday to earn their spots in the tournament. This gives us hope in the development of the Tour. We believe that we will be able to see the emergence of players like Li Haotong, Liang Wen-chong, Wu Ashun in the near future.
“We hope to create more playing opportunities for our players through the local branded events on our platform. This is also a good opportunity to showcase the standard of golf in China to the world,” Pang added.
TEE SHOTS KEY TO SCORE IN SECOND ATTEMPT AT THE WHITE MOUNTAIN
Mr. Ma Chunye, Senior Assistant to CEO of Wanda Group and General Manager of Changbai Mountain International Resort, welcomed the Tour’s return to the Jilin White Birch Club for the second straight year.
Apart from the beautiful golf course, the Changbai Mountain resort is also the best ski resort in China, welcoming a total of 360,000 visitors in wintor last year. He said: “This year, we are hosting the tournament at the Jilin White Birch Club. We are thinking if we should host it at Pine Valley West next year. Perhaps it can be one of the official host venue of the China Tour.”
Zhang, who missed out on the participation deadline of the tournament last year, will be making his debut appearance at the Jilin White Birch Club this week.
Zhang, who has yet to hit top form this season, hopes to play down his expectations this week and treat it like any other tournament. “I have been trying to fix my swing lately. Sometimes it’s good but sometimes it’s not. I tend to get my good form only in the second half of the season. Hopefully my good form will come sooner this time. I need to take advantage of these tournaments these few weeks.
Zhang feels that this is a golf course that suits his game. “I hit it pretty straight and it’s an advantage for me because the fairways are narrow here. But having said that, putting will be the key to score on this golf course. Tee shots come second.”
Chen Chang ping, the best finisher in tied-sixth place at last week’s tournament, completed his practice round yesterday. He said: “You need to be cautious with tee shots and putting here. The trees will affect your visuals when you tee off. You must be careful with that. If you try to attack the greens and fall short, it’s very hard to save the ball. You need to come up with a good game plan. I will continue to do my best this week. My aim is still a top-10 finish.”
CHINA TOUR LOOKS TO ALIGN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT WITH OLYMPICS
As the 2017 season heads into its third event on the schedule on Thursday, the operations of the events have also matured. China Tour Chief Legal Officer, Jino, explained: “The rules have to be standardized. A good tournament relies on a mature system, and this includes on site operations which is the foundation of the tournament. Secondly, it’s the organisers, promoters, players rights and a reasonable income distribution. The tournament will then attract fans to come and watch on site. Next, it’s the communication and production system. Last but not least, it’s the branding of the sponsors and the product design system.
“The Olympics system is the most reliable system to learn from. It’s our aim to development our system to that level. It is the direction which we are working towards. We still have a long way to go but we see the prospects of how well-run our current events are and how effective it will be as we head into the third tournament of the season this week,” he said.
Jino also promised: “We will, from the legal point of view, fully support the establishment and effective operation of these systems, escorting the Tour to greater heights in future. We firmly believe that once we build up this system, it will be the greatest contribution to the growth of the China tour and the development of the game. We hope these will gain more support and attention from all walks of life.”
CHINA TOUR LAUNCHES NEW LOGO
The design of the logo was based on a golfer’s swing as the main theme, and thereby bringing out a modern, dynamic and simple logo with a high visual impact. The green part of the logo shows the vitality of the greens which the blue are shows the swing of the player. The sky in the logo shows a golden rainbow, depicting the energy of the Tour and its unlimited future. The rainbow, at the same time, shows the connection between the China Tour and the world. It is also the bridge for China players to get onto the world stage.
The logo brilliantly incorporated three of the Chinese character “人” which means spectators. This reflects the popularity of the Tour and its players. It also shows that the China Tour resolves around golf and the embracement of people from all walks of life while striving to build an ambition of creating world-class tournament.
The bottom part of the logo show the Chinese character “心” which means heart. It depicts the love of the game from fans, the determination to create world-class events by the sponsors and promoters and the aim to win by players. The three parts that made up the character also show the help and support from the international golf tours to the China Tour. Without their help, the China Tour will not be able to exist.
The overall color of the logo is bright and relaxed, showing the change from golf being a rich men’s sport to a popular sport that appeals to the public. The new logo also shows the dynamics of the Tour, indicating that the Tour will progress swiftly and get to world-class level in no time to come.