Magnificent 7 headed to HSBC Champions

Mon 26 Oct 2015

Magnificent 7 headed to HSBC Champions

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Sentosa, Singapore, October 26: Canadian Richard T. Lee has earned himself an early birthday present by winning the final spot from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit to compete in next week’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China.
Lee, rookie of the year in 2013, Australian duo Scott Hend and Andrew Dodt, and India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia qualified for the US$8.5 million showpiece at Sheshan International Golf Club as the leading four (not otherwise exempt) players from the Merit list.
Anirban Lahiri of India, the current number one, Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat also qualified for the HSBC Champions by virtue of being in the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, ensuring that seven members will fly the Asian Tour flag in China next week.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
Lee, who is sixth on the Order of Merit, endured a nervous wait as he wasn’t sure he would earn his first WGC appearance after missing the halfway cut in Hong Kong last week.
“I’m lucky that two players (Lahiri and ThongchaI) in front of me were in the world’s top-50. I found out about this in Hong Kong and pretty much told myself to just make the cut but I didn’t! I guess I was lucky to still take that position,” said Lee, who will turn 25 on Thursday.
He started the year strongly with top-five finishes in co-sanctioned tournaments with the European Tour in Malaysia and Thailand. Lee has since earned over US$220,000 this season, almost as much as he earned in his first two seasons on the Asian Tour.
“I’m just grateful that I played well in the beginning of the year and I’m looking forward to playing in my first WGC event. This was pretty much my goal to get into the big events at the end of the season. I prepared myself at the end of last year to reach my goal and I have done it.”
Dodt, currently third on the Merit list, was delighted to qualify for the HSBC Champions, saying that Asia’s lone WGC event was a wonderful opportunity for players like himself to test their games against the world’s finest golfers.
“The hardest bit is getting there as it’s a WGC event. And you’ve got to make the most of it as most of these events are for top-50 players in the world. For me, I’ve got to make the most of the HSBC Champions,” said Dodt, who won in Thailand earlier this season.
“Sheshan is a strategic golf course. It’s long and you have to commit to a few tee shots.
It’s all mental for me. I’ve got the tools. I hit it as good as anyone and chip and putt as good as anyone.
[pullquote align="left or right"]The hardest bit is getting there as it’s a WGC event. And you’ve got to make the most of it as most of these events are for top-50 players in the world. - Andrew Dodt[/pullquote]
“The next step for me is the mental part. I work with a psychologist back home and he knows very little about golf. He works with you as a person and I wouldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved without his help. It’s still not quite there yet but I’ll chip away step by step.”
S.S.P Chawrasia of India S.S.P Chawrasia of India
Chawrasia, fourth on the Order of Merit, was delighted to qualify for his third HSBC Champions appearance.
“Anytime you can get into the HSBC Champions, it means you’ve had a good year on the Asian Tour. There’s going to be a great field in China as all the top players are there. So you’ve got to be on top of your game which is always the test. The course at Sheshan is long and you’ve got to negotiate your way around it well.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 11th edition of the WGC-HSBC Champions with all information available at www.hsbcgolf.com  along with details of revised qualification criteria.
Notes to editors:
About HBSC
HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 58 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
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 $8.5m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, former World Number 1 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.  In preparation for golf’s return to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016, HSBC is also the presenting sponsor of the Brazil Champions tournament in São Paulo.
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
HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,572bn at 30 June 2015, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.