Matsuyama and Johnson commit early to #HSBCChampions

Shanghai, China, September 6: Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and 2013 Champion Dustin Johnson have confirmed their participation in the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions taking place October 26 to 29 at Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai.

Since Matsuyama’s triumph at ‘Asia’s Major’ last October when he became the first Japanese player to win a World Golf Championship, he has gone from strength to strength, winning four times, including the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open and, earlier this month, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He reached a career high ranking of number two in June and is currently lying in third place on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Matsuyama won last year by a cool seven shots from Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger. His rounds of 66, 65, 68 and 66 took in as many as 29 birdies, and he is relishing a return to Sheshan.

Matsuyama said: “Sheshan has some very special memories for me. It was a great honour to become the first Japanese winner of a World Golf Championships and to do it against such a world-class field was very special. I believe the confidence I gained with such a big victory there has really helped me with my performances this year.”

At the top of the world rankings, Johnson became the only man to have completed the WGC-Slam when he won both the WGC-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this year.

Johnson, who suffered a back injury following a fall on the eve of this year’s Masters, returned to the winning circle last week at the PGA’s Northern Trust tournament. He commented: “It is great that Hideki and I hold all the 2017 WGC titles between us, so we will both be gunning to win the final WGC of the year. I really look forward to returning to Shanghai and it always helps to be returning to a course where you have won before. The Chinese fans are awesome and bring a real energy and enthusiasm that always makes it really fun to play there.”

Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, added: “WGC-HSBC Champions is our flagship event in global golf and an early announcement of two of the world’s best players is hugely exciting. Quality of field is the calling card for this tournament which has earned the reputation of ‘Asia’s Major’ and for the past three years we have attracted forty of the world’s top fifty golfers. Following recent heroics China’s leading players are truly coming of age at just the right time. This event means so much to them. It is their major. It first inspired them into the game then nurtured their skills. Now it gives this new generation a chance to unleash their talents against the world’s best. All in front their home fans. It’s a mouth-watering prospect.”

Ticket sales launch tomorrow on www.HSBCgolf.com/buy-tickets-online. From daily passes to weekend family packages, and complimentary entry to juniors 18 and under, there is something for everyone. The popular Pinnacle Club will also return this year, a premium spectator experience for fans looking for an extra special way to enjoy world-class golf. Pinnacle Club guests will be able to enjoy the golf from a high-spec bespoke social and party platform on the golf course, offering excellent views of the action as well as top class hospitality and a unique atmosphere.

For more details on the WGC-HSBC Champions and all ticket information, please visit www.HSBCgolf.com/mens  or follow official WeChat account: HSBCChampions

Ends.

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 About HSBC

HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.

The HSBC Group

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,492bn at 30 June 2017, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

About HSBC Golf Sponsorships

HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite.

HSBC is a proud patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The R&A creates a centre of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC’s key markets.  In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.  The $9.75m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, that Rory McIlroy describes China as “an unstoppable force in world golf.”  HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour.

However, underpinning those international flagship events is a longer-term ambition to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. In Hong Kong, HSBC supports the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage. In the UK, HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation’s national development programme which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs and uses golf to promote important life skills.

For more details on HSBC’s golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com

About WME | IMG China 

WME | IMG China is a subsidiary of WME | IMG, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion operating in more than 30 countries. Formed in June 2016 through an investment group that includes Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, FountainVest Partners and Focus Media, WME | IMG China is focused on building upon WME | IMG’s longstanding presence in the region and advancing its growth across entertainment and sports.

About the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions

In 2017, the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions will be the first of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours on the PGA TOUR schedule. The other World Golf Championships include the Mexico Championship (Mexico City), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the Dell Match Play (Austin, Texas).