Burack Hails Asian Tour’s China Open Tie-Up

Josh Burack

Beijing, China: The 24th Volvo China Open will be tri-sanctioned between the China Golf Association (CGA), the European Tour and the Asian Tour, after an agreement was reached with the tournament’s stakeholders.
To take place at the Beijing Topwin Golf and Country Club for the third consecutive year from April 26-29, the event will offer a prize purse of RMB20 million (about US$3.15 million).
“The Asian Tour is delighted to join the Volvo China Open as a sanctioning partner alongside the CGA, with whom we formed a strategic partnership with in 2017, and the European Tour, with whom we’ve had a strategic alliance since 2016,” said Josh Burack, CEO of the Asian Tour, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“We greatly appreciate them including us in this outstanding tournament. We’d also like to thank Volvo for their terrific support to involve the Asian Tour in their flagship golf property,” he added.
The Beijing Topwin Golf and Country Club, which opened in 2011 as an exclusive private members’ club, now ties the record set by Beijing International Golf Club for hosting the Volvo China Open on the most occasions in the Northern China area.
Zhang Xiaoning, President of the China Golf Association, said he was pleased to see Topwin chosen to host China’s National Open once again.
“The previous two editions of the Volvo China Open ended in dramatic fashion so the Topwin course is clearly a challenge for the players. The best player on the day will win,” said Zhang.
Li Haotong realised a dream by winning his first European Tour title at Topwin and he has gone on to prove he is capable of winning more events on the European Tour.
“Everyone in China was proud of him when he won in 2016, and he then went on to represent the nation at the Rio Olympic Games with Wu Ashun, who also won the Volvo China Open in Shanghai in 2015.”
Shi Lin, President of Beijing Topwin Group, said the staff and members of the club are proud and excited to know that their course will again host the National Open.
“It is an honour for us to be in the position of hosting China’s most prestigious golf tournament for the third straight year,” said Shi. “We all know how challenging our golf course is and it’s good for TV viewers around the world to be able to see for themselves that courses in China are just good as courses in other countries that have a much longer history of the game.”
Champions of the two previous events at Topwin, Li Haotong and Alex Levy also broke records thanks to their victories, with Li becoming the youngest winner of the event in 2016 and Levy becoming the first player to win the event twice (2014 and 2017).
Victory at the 2016 Volvo China Open earned Li a two-year exemption to the European Tour.
Li Haotong shows off the Volvo China Open trophy. Picture by Getty Images

Last month, Li won his second European Tour title by overcoming former world number one and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, earning his place in Chinese golfing history by becoming the first male player from the world’s most populous nation to enter the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“This year’s event precedes the May 1 public holiday and is expected to see large numbers of spectators attracted to witness the stars of the European and Asian Tours, and also the rising local talent of Chinese golf,” said Shi.
The 24th staging of the Volvo China Open will be the Swedish brand’s 137th title sponsorship in men’s professional golf and the company’s 87th on the European Tour.
This year will see the 15th staging since the tournament became a European Tour event in 2004. It is also Volvo’s longest-running current golf sponsorship.
“We are proud of our relationships with the Asian Tour and the China Golf Association so we are delighted to extend the tri-sanctioning of the Volvo China Open,” said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour.
“This tournament is a really important one for the European Tour and we are determined to continue building our profile in China, especially after Li Haotong became the first Chinese male golfer to break into the top 50 in the world.”
Sven De Smet, Chairman of Volvo China Open Board, said this year’s event is expected to be more popular with increased galleries compared to previous years.
“With the Volvo China Open now on the Asian Tour schedule it will definitely bring the event to a higher level and will yield higher world ranking points,” said De Smet.
“Volvo was one of the earliest sponsors of both the European Tour and the Asian Tour. Our long-term investment in professional golf has created a model of mutual benefit in the history of sports sponsorship.”

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