Mission Hills Golf Club, Shenzhen, China, October 19 2004: The Visa Dynasty Cup, the Ryder Cup style shootout between Asia and Japan, will be played at the worlds largest golf club, Mission Hills Golf Club, China, next April, organisers announced on Tuesday.
Asia pulled off a big shock with their 16 1/2 – 7 1/2 victory over Japan at the first Dynasty Cup 19 months ago which gave golf a huge boost in the region.
With the focus firmly on team showdowns following Europe’s thrilling triumph over the United States in the Ryder Cup last month, the top players from Asia and Japan are gearing up for a gripping contest from April 15-17, 2005.
The Visa Dynasty Cup is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation and China Golf Association.
October 19: Arjun Atwal is battling courageously to keep his US PGA Tour card and gave himself a chance with a sixth place finish at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro at the weekend.
The Indian star, last year’s Asian number one, shot rounds of 71, 70, 68 and 66 for a 275 total, five shots behind winner Brent Geiberger. It was Atwal’s first top 10 in his rookie year in the US.
He won a cheque of US$165,600 and raised his season’s earnings to US$464,790 which moved him up from 164th to 142nd place on the money ranking. There are only two more full field events in the US for Atwal to play his way into the top-125 which is the cut off mark for players to keep their full playing privileges for 2005.
October 15: A new tournament, the Crowne Plaza Open, Shanghai, will make its debut on the Asian Tour from October 21 to 24 at Tomson Golf Club as professional golf in China continues to make giant strides forward.
A total of 45 players from China, including five amateurs, will have the opportunity to challenge some of Asia‘s finest players in the US$200,000 tournament. The Crowne Plaza Open will be the fourth tournament in mainland China this year.
Heading the local charge is upcoming youngster Li Chao, a former three-time national amateur champion. Along with Zheng Wen-gen, one of the pioneers of the professional game in China, Li is tipped to challenge for the US$32,300 top prize.
Ernie Els with Kevin Na during last month’s Korean Open.
Kuala Lumpur, October 15: South African superstar Ernie Els has backed Asian golf to enjoy a bright future, saying the region is going to be the main market over the next 10 years.
Els, ranked second in the world, has played on the Asian Tour twice this season, at the tri-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic in Bangkok in January and also at last month’s Kolon Korean Open where he finished third.
The man known as the “Big Easy” is amazed with the pace of development in Asia and reckons golf will become bigger in this region once the likes of Thongchai Jaidee, Arjun Atwal and Zhang Lian-wei start winning in Europe and the United States.
October 14: Scotsman Simon Yates is one of the hottest golfers on the Asian Tour at the moment. Since winning the SK Telecom Open in May, the Thai-based Yates has accumulated four successive top-10s to move up to second place on the Order of Merit.
Asiantour.com caught up with Yates, known better as ‘The Wee Man’ who reveals what’s in his golf bag, his favourite golf course in Asia, who he thinks is the best golfer in the region at the moment and his superstition.
Ole, Spain and the World Cup beckons for Korea, Myanmar and Chinese Taipei after these three teams made it through the World Cup Qualifier in Malaysia. Asian Tour Weekly has all the action from Palm Resort Golf and Country Club plus we talk to some of the minnows of the tournament who are just pleased to get a chance to foot it with the big guys.
Its difficult to get away from Thai golfers on the Asian tour, they just keep winning. This week Thammanoon Srirot has a tip for playing in the rain, Prayad Marksaeng shows us whats in his bag and we look at the coastal city of Hua Hin which is home to Asian Tour players from all over the world. Finally we talk to tour rookie Edward Michaels.
Singapore, October 11: The Caltex Masters presented by Carlsberg, Singapore, will return to Laguna National Golf and Country Club for the fourth successive occasion next year, with players competing for an increased prize fund of US$1 million. The event, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, will take place on January 27-30, 2005.
Bob Hakim, Vice President of Asia Pacific Marketing for Chevron Texaco said: “We are very excited and pleased that the event has grown from strength to strength over the last four years. We will continue to try our best in providing high quality golf and entertainment to the public.
Shanghai, October 11: The Volvo China Open will mark its 10th anniversary with a celebration of champions at Shanghai Silport Golf Club from November 25-28, 2004.
Volvo have extended special invitations to all former title-holders to return to this year’s US$1 million championship which they believe will add to the festivities of its flagship event in China.
The list of champions include Raul Fretes of Paraguay, winner of the inaugural Volvo China Open in 1995, Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng (1996), China’s Cheng Jun (1997), Englishman Edward Fryatt (1998), Kyi Hla Han of Myanmar (1999), England’s Simon Dyson (2000), Korea’s Charlie Wi (2001) and Australian David Gleeson (2002).
Chinese golfing idol Zhang Lian-wei won last year’s title to achieve his lifelong dream of winning his home Open.
October 8: The 2005 Open Championship will conduct International Final Qualifying (IFQ) on five continents, including Asia.
The Royal and Ancient introduced IFQs this year which saw four Asian Tours members – Jyoti Randhawa (right), Yoshinobu Tsukada, Kim Felton and Scott Barr – qualifying for the world’s oldest Major in July. Randhawa and Felton both made the cut, with the Indian star becoming the first player from his country to play in all four rounds.
Next year’s IFQ in Asia will be played once again at Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from April 6-7. Four places will be available in Asia for golfers to battle for the opportunity to play at St Andrews next year.
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