Shenzhen, China: Golf fans throughout the Pearl River Delta region of China will have the chance to see some of the world’s best players in action when the inaugural Shenzhen International tees-off in April.
With a field comprising 100 players from the European Tour, 50 players from the China Golf Association and six sponsor invites, the US$2.5 million tournament in the Longgang district of Shenzhen will be played from April 16-19, the week after the year’s first Major, the Masters Tournament.
The Neil Haworth-designed course at Genzon Golf Club, which was the venue for this year’s Volvo China Open, will host the tournament.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive, European Tour, said: “We are delighted to add another new tournament in China to an already robust 2015 schedule. In recent years, China has become an increasingly important player in the global golf market.
“We are indebted to Genzon Group for committing to promote the new tournament. Genzon Golf Club and the city of Shenzhen both proved to be superb hosts for the Volvo China Open this year, so we had no hesitation in agreeing to return there for the Shenzhen International.”
Fei Hailong, General Manager of Genzon Golf Club said: “We are delighted to launch the Shenzhen International, which will be Asia’s new professional elite golf tournament.”
The tournament will take on the name of the city of Shenzhen, the economic powerhouse of China’s Pearl River Delta region.
Ke Gangming, Counsel of Culture Sports and Tourism Administration of Shenzhen Municipality, added: “In a first for the region, this tournament will be staged in the city of Shenzhen, by the city of Shenzhen, and for the greater benefit of the Pearl River Delta region, as well as golf enthusiasts in China and around the world.
“Through its international trading links, Shenzhen is China’s window to the world. In addition to staging a first-class international golf tournament, it is our intention to use this event to showcase the modern and vibrant city of Shenzhen to the world.”
Speaking of the new partnership, Zhang Xiaoning, Vice-President and Secretary General of the China Golf Association, said: “We welcome the addition of the Shenzhen International to the 2015 European Tour International Schedule. The championship will bring an international showcase event to the people of Shenzhen and the surrounding area.
“It will also provide an emerging group of highly-talented young Chinese golfers with the opportunity to compete against the best players in the game on a world stage. As we look forward to golf’s inclusion in the next Olympic Games, this tournament will be another milestone in China’s path to becoming a major golf nation.”
The tournament will be operated and staged by global leading golf tournament organiser, IMG, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Adam Zhu, Vice Chairman of IMG Asia Pacific, said: “The Shenzhen International is an exciting new addition to Asia’s ever-expanding schedule of professional golf tournaments. We commend the Genzon Group for this bold new initiative which will see the world’s best players competing in Shenzhen, which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the further development of the game both in China and throughout the region.”
President of Genzon Group, Deng Xueqin, said, “Shenzhen is an international city of business and fashion and is full of creativity. As a Group company based in Shenzhen, our vision for the Shenzhen International is not just to be a professional golf tournament, but to act as a vehicle for progress for all major businesses in the area so that together we can continue to grow and showcase the city of Shenzhen to the word. This is a golf tournament that offers so much more.”