Shenzhen, China: For the second year in a row, big-hitting Bubba Watson will attempt to conquer Neil Haworth’s award-winning Genzon Golf Club course.
American left-hander Watson, a two-time Masters champion, will headline the field in the second edition of the Shenzhen International, to be staged at Genzon Golf Club from April 21-24.
With an emphasis on preserving the site’s natural surroundings and vegetation, which combine lakes, mountains and plains, the club’s two 18-hole courses were sculpted by Nelson and Haworth Golf Course Architects, an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
World number four Watson said: “I thoroughly enjoyed competing in the Shenzhen International last year, although I didn’t play as well as I would have liked. My best memory is of the fantastic reception I received from the local fans and the venue. They made me feel very welcome. For a week in April, the Shenzhen Genzon Golf Club will definitely be ‘my home course’. I can’t wait to get back.”
Fei Hailong, the club’s General Manager, said: “Our theme this year is Shenzhen International, Your Home Course. We are determined to give everyone – players and fans – a sense of pride and ownership of the tournament.
“For the players, the atmosphere and the welcome awaiting them should make them feel as if they are teeing-off at their home course in a truly high-class event. From the fans’ perspective, we will be extending a warm welcome to all of Shenzhen, and beyond, in what will be a true family atmosphere – with great golf on the course and entertainment and a host of activities off it.”
Among the attractions will be a chance for spectators to follow in the footsteps of the players, with an eight-mile ‘fun’ walk of the course. Those new to the sport will gain an understanding of golf etiquette and experience the spirit of the game while watching top professional players at close quarters.
At the same time, they will be given a taste of a healthy outdoor lifestyle in a family-friendly environment. There will also be interactive games throughout the week and the chance to enjoy the ‘Hug Camera’ activity, where volunteers dressed to catch the eye will pose for ‘selfies’ with spectators and interact with the crowd. All of this is designed to ignite the audience’s passion and a sense of belonging to the tournament.
Deng Xueqin, President of Genzon Group, said: “As a company we are constantly evolving and always innovating. It is also our philosophy for the tournament and will allow us to deliver our brand values to the world.
“As a company we promote healthy lifestyles and a sense of fun, which is why we want people to come from far and wide to benefit from our creation of an open and innovative tournament platform. For players and spectators, the Shenzhen International will achieve a multi-win scenario. Everyone will find a home away from home and be welcomed with open arms.”
With an increased prize purse of US$2.8 million, the event forms part of the European Tour. The field will include 100 European Tour players with 50 spots for the China Golf Association and six sponsor invites.