International Golf Returns to Shanghai

Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club during the 2019 tournament.

Shanghai, China: After a three-year hiatus, top-level professional golf will return to China in the shape of the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

To be held at the Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club from October 12-15, the only international top-tier professional golf tournament to be hosted in China this year is expected to attract a world-class field.

With a prize fund of US$2.1 million, the event is certified by the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) and the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA).

The tournament will be an important opportunity for members of China’s women’s national team to stamp their claim for a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Zhang Xiaoning, Chairman of the China Golf Association (CGA), said: “The 2023 Buick LPGA Shanghai serves as a pivotal platform for the Chinese Golf National Team to sharpen their skills ahead of the Olympics. It will play a vital role for Chinese players to gain world ranking points and strengthen their competitive prowess.

“As the first top-tier golf tournament back to China after the pandemic, the Buick LPGA Shanghai will bolster international exchanges and attract more premier international events back, thereby increasing the public’s interest in golf as a sport.”

In 2021, the Buick LPGA Shanghai was bestowed the ‘Shanghai Sports Developing Event’ designation by the Shanghai Administration of Sports, strengthening its position as a benchmark event in Shanghai’s pursuit to become an international sports event hub.

Luo Wenhua, Deputy Director General of Shanghai Administration of Sports, said: “The staging of the Buick LPGA Shanghai reflects Shanghai’s profound potential in sports development and solid foundation for hosting the top-tier international sports events. As a sports-enthusiastic and vibrant city, Shanghai’s citizens have shown an increasing passion for sports, particularly in golf.

“Leveraging this event, we aim to not only satisfy the growing diverse sports demands of our citizens, but also make a significant contribution to promoting Shanghai’s global image.”

Sean Pyun, the LPGA’s Chief Business Officer – Asia, said: “Chinese women golfers have accomplished a remarkable achievement in recent years, with an increasing number of Chinese players making their mark in the LPGA, such as 20-year-old Yin Ruoning and 10-year veteran Lin Xiyu.

“They are now both ranked in the top-12 of the Rolex Rankings. Yin has recently become the second Chinese player to win a Major championship on the LPGA and stands particularly tall at fifth spot in the global rankings, achieving a significant milestone for Chinese female golfers since the former number one Feng Shanshan’s retirement.

“The China market is an important territory for the LPGA, and we are always delighted to reaffirm our commitment to women’s golf in China through collaborations with the CGA, the CLPGA, SAIC-GM Buick, and other partners.

“After a three-year hibernation, we are immensely honoured to return to Shanghai, and looking forward to delivering the best tournament experience to Chinese players and fans.”

Over the past two editions of the tournament, American Danielle Kang has been the standout, clinching back-to-back victories with scores of 275 (13-under) and 272 (16-under).

As well as Kang, the field will include an exciting line-up of Chinese women’s golf national team members, comprising Buick Golf Ambassadors Lin Xiyu, Yin Ruoning and Liu Yu, who will be bidding for gold medal glory at the Hangzhou Asian Games at the end of September. There will also be an exemption to the winner of the 2023 Buick China Junior Championship.

“The Buick LPGA Shanghai boasts the pinnacle of women’s professional golf in China in terms of field, prize money, and world ranking points,” said Li Hong, CEO of the China LPGA Tour.

“We hope this year’s tournament will provide CLPGA players a platform to display their golf excellence and help nurture more local women golfers,” added Li.

Yao Fei, General Director of Buick Sales and Marketing, SAIC-GM, said: “We are extremely honoured to bring the top women’s golf event once again to Chinese audience after a three-year hiatus. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to China Golf Association (CGA), Shanghai Administration of Sports, the LPGA, and the CLPGA, for their consistent strong support on the Buick LPGA Championship.

“Through the continuous inheritance of Buick’s profound bond with golf beyond 60 years, we will continue to bring more vitality into Chinese golf sport and to promote the healthy development of golf in China.”

IMG, one of the founding partners of the championship, are the organisers and promoters of the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Grant Slack, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Golf Events, IMG, said: “We are delighted to work with the China Golf Association, the Shanghai Administration of Sports, the LPGA, the CLPGA and SAIC-GM Buick, to bring this great golf tournament back to China. We are proud to be a part of what feels like a very important moment as it marks the resumption of professional golf in China.”

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