Stars commit to WGC-HSBC Champions Tournament
The strength and depth of the WGC-HSBC Champions field was underlined today as more of the world’s best golfers confirmed their participation. American starsKeegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley will join 2009 Champion Sergio Garcia, 2012 Open Champion Ernie Els and former World Number One Lee Westwood in trying to win the ‘Champion of Champions’ crown. Leading the challenge from the next generation of golf stars will be US sensation 20 year old Jordan Spieth along with 20 year old winner of the 2013 BMW PGA Championship Matteo Manassero and young Japanese stars, Hideki Matsuyamaand Ryo Ishikawa, as the event returns to the Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai from 31st October to 3rd November 2013.
The stellar 78-man field, which will include more than 40 of the world’s top 50 players, also includes 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, 2013 Open Champion,Phil Mickelson, 2013 USPGA Champion, Jason Dufner, world number six Rory McIlroy, defending Champion Ian Poulter and in-form world number four Henrik Stenson, world number eight and two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2013, Brandt Snedeker, former world number one, Luke Donald and 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell.
Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2012 WGC-Bridegstone Invitational and 2011 PGA Championship, is looking forward to returning to the Sheshan International Golf Club. He explained, “I really enjoyed my visit to Sheshan International Club in 2011 and loved exploring Shanghai as it is an amazing city. This tournament is a really big deal as it is the final World Golf Championships of the year and one we all want to win so I am hoping I have a really great week.”
Jordan Spieth has taken the PGA TOUR by storm in his first year as a professional, winning the 2013 John Deere Classic and finishing 7th place in the season long race for the FedEx Cup. He was chosen as a captains pick for the 2013 US Presidents Cup team and also earned himself Rookie of the Year honors after an incredible season that included nine Top-10 finishes. Spieth commented, “It has been an unbelievable year for me and I can’t wait to play in my first professional event in China. I’ve heard great things about the course and look forward to competing in my first World Golf Championship.”
Henrik Stenson, winner of the Tour Championship and the 2013 FedEx Cup, world number four and current leader of the Race to Dubai added, “I have had a fantastic few weeks and I am feeling great about my game as we head into the Final Series. There is still plenty to play for and I really would love to finish off the year with a win at the final World Golf Championships of the season. It is exciting to have put myself in position to win the Race to Dubai as well, and I hope I can capitalise on this opportunity.”
Playing for an increased prize fund of $8.5 million in the recently elevated WGC-HSBC Champions, there will be more at stake than ever for the world’s best as they compete in the fourth and final World Golf Championships of 2013. For the first time, the HSBC Champions will become part of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup schedule, with money earned counting as official money on the PGA TOUR, and the winner earning a three-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. The HSBC Champions will also award full FedExCup points, plus the 10 percent premium awarded by all World Golf Championships compared to a regular PGA TOUR event. With these changes the HSBC Champions is now in line with the other three World Golf Championships played in the United States and is also a key part of the 2013 European Tour’s Final Series.
The WGC-HSBC Champions returns to Shanghai after taking place at Mission Hills last year after seven very successful editions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.
The WGC-HSBC Champions prize fund has increased to $8,500,000 from $7,000,000 and is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The following marquee players have won the coveted WGC-HSBC Champions title; David Howell, YE Yang, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson – the only one to have won the title twice, Martin Kaymer and, as referenced above, Ian Poulter, who became the latest to join that impressive roll of honour in 2012.
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