China’s Wu and Li enjoy flying start at #WorldCupofGolf

Thu 24 Nov 2016

China’s Wu and Li enjoy flying start at #WorldCupofGolf


Melbourne, Australia, November 24: China’s Wu Ashun and Li Haotong had fun on day one of the US$8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, knocking in improbable birdies late in the opening foursomes that sparked chest-bump celebrations on Thursday.

Wu, 31, delighted the large galleries at Kingston Heath Golf Club with his heroics and exuberance by holing lengthy putts on 16 and 18 to help China sign for a two-under-par 70. They ended the day in tied second place with the United States and France, one behind leaders Spain.

“It was very good and my partner was playing very good and we made a lot of birdies and it was very exciting,” said Wu, who is a two-time European Tour champion.

Bogeys on 12 and 15 sent China back to level par in the alternate-shot round before Wu produced his magic by finding the bottom of the cup for the team to move back to red numbers. His delight was heightened with chest bumps with his equally excited 21-year-old partner Li.

Wu Ashun 2

Rising star Li, who has one European Tour victory to his name, was delighted with China’s strong start as they began their chase for a first victory in the World Cup of Golf. “Wu holed everything. We had birdie chances but we finally made a couple of really, really incredible putts. It's quite fun,” said Li.

Wu explained a bogey on 15 had got the team down but after his ball disappeared on 16 from over 30 feet, they went wild. “It was so exciting when I made birdie because we made bogey on that par 3 (on 15), so we needed some power,” said Wu, who is making his second appearance in the World Cup of Golf.

Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Jon Rahm recorded a solid 69 on a tough day of scoring, with swirly winds making life tricky for the 28 two-man team event. A birdie on the last, where Cabera-Bello’s ball seemed to defy the laws of gravity by dropping into the hole, got the Spaniards ahead of the pack.

“We made I think the best putt. Just unbelievable. Li was giving me some ideas on the breaks and talked about speed, it was very fast and the wind's were blowing too. So we talked a little bit on the line and he said just take it easy, just relax and putt and it goes in. It's unbelievable,” - Wu Ashun.

“That was a fun putt because when I was seeing it, it looked like I couldn't miss and then all of a sudden it could really miss and I don't know how it came back,” said Carbrera Bello, who was the only unbeaten European golfer in the recent Ryder Cup.

“I think we played good. It was obviously tough and tricky with the wind. But Jon played great, I rolled some putts and hit some good shots as well, so I think it was a score we're proud of but also a score we deserve.”

Jimmy Walker of the United States Jimmy Walker of the United States

On Thanksgiving day, the Americna pairing of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker were thankful for each other as partners after both pointed to key shots made by the other as part of their opening 70.

“I’m thankful to have a stud partner,” said Walker, the 2016 U.S. PGA Championship winner. “Rickie putted really well and made some clutch putts beginning of the round. Putting really saved us today.”

While Fowler and Walker have been friends off the course for quite awhile, they have also developed good chemistry on the course having partnered for this year’s victorious U.S. Ryder Cup Team. Playing foursomes is not a format that the best players in the world put into competition often, so to have that experience was important for the U.S. World Cup Team.

“I think we got everything out of it I think we could have,” Walker said. “Rickie hit it great, hit some good shots. It was an all-around effort.”

The 2016 World Cup will be the 58th staging of this event. For ticket information and to follow all of the news, player features and more as the event approaches, the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf web-site is


ISPS, the International Sports Promotion Society, is a charitable organization that promotes sports, such as golf, polo and rowing, in a belief that sports and sporting platforms can help achieve world peace. It also supports blind golf as its founder and chairman Haruhisa Handa, dubbed the father of blind golf in Japan, is the first person in Japan to establish a blind golf club, which is now called the Japan Blind Golf Association.

Dr Handa also serves as founder and chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, or IFAC, a nonprofit organization established to promote social welfare activities through music and art events. IFAC is title sponsor to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, one of the most celebrated events in the arts calendar in Australia and internationally, which takes place between the end of March and the end of April every year.

About Melbourne, Victoria

Voted the world’s most livable city for the past six years, Melbourne is a leader in staging international sporting and cultural events, with its super-friendly people ready to welcome World Cup of Golf visitors. The city is famed for its laneways and cafe culture, known as Australia's coffee capital, and is home to vibrant arts, music and fashion scenes. Melbourne's food credentials are attracting global attention and the city is the gateway to Victoria, including 21 wine regions, the stunning Great Ocean Road scenic drive and abundant native Australian wildlife. Victoria's landscapes offer everything from international surf beaches, islands and coastal experiences to Alpine mountain ranges and inland lakes. Victoria is also a popular destination for domestic and international golfing tourism, famed for its sandbelts and home to picturesque, challenging courses that suit every ability.

Media assistance is available for World Cup media wishing to develop destination related content, research locations for outside broadcasts, interview local personalities and access rights free footage. Please contact [email protected] with any requests. Destination information is also available at

About the International Federation of PGA Tours

The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999. The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999.

In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.

About the International Golf Association

The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956. IGA is governed by its six-member Board of Directors. Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman. Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2016 return of the World Cup of Golf to Melbourne and a new Sandbelt region course in historic Kingston Heath Golf Club.