Showcase of Asia's best at HSBC Champions

Fri 25 Oct 2013

Showcase of Asia's best at HSBC Champions

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Shanghai, October 25: Asia’s best golfers will be propelled into the spotlight when they feature against a starry field at the WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club next week.

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, will be among the leading six players from the region’s premier tour to challenge the likes of American Major champions Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson as well as title holder Ian Poulter of England and 2012 Open Champion Ernie Els of South Africa, who is also an honorary member and international ambassador of the Asian Tour.


Big-hitting Scott Hend of Australia, who has enjoyed a spectacular season with three victories on the Asian Tour this year, will be relishing the opportunity to match up against the world’s best players while India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar is seeking to better last year’s tied-18th finish.
The local challenge will rest on the shoulders of 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Liang Wen-chong who hopes to create another impact after finishing tied-24th in last year’s HSBC Champions.
Bangkok-based Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea will be making his debut at the WGC-HSBC Champions while three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will stake his place among the elite.
Thongchai is ready to issue another reminder on why he is one of Asia’s top stars when the final World Golf Championships event of the year tees off from October 31 to November 3.
The battle of the champions in Shanghai will see Kiradech attempting to stamp his mark like how he did for his second Asian Tour win in Malaysia in March where he defeated a field which included the likes of Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel and Matteo Manassero.
“I’ve gained lots of confidence with my game since my win in Malaysia and I know I can compete against the best if I believe in myself. I’ve been playing well this year and hopefully I can do it again in Shanghai,” said Kiradech.
Hend will be making another appearance at the HSBC Champions by virtue of his second position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
After enjoying the distinction of securing a hat-trick of victories this season, Hend is confident the tireless hours spent on refining every aspect of his game will pay off again.
“To be honest with you, I'm just achieving some goals and hitting some targets.  I'm working hard.  Sooner or later, you have to reap the rewards of working hard, and I've worked hard for the last 18 months, and hopefully it's coming together,” said Hend, who has won in Thailand, Taipei and Macau this season.
For the first time, the HSBC Champions will become part of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup schedule, with money earned counting as official money on the PGA TOUR, and the winner earning a three-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.
The HSBC Champions will also award full FedExCup points, plus the 10 percent premium awarded by all World Golf Championships compared to a regular PGA TOUR event.  With these changes the HSBC Champions is now in line with the other three World Golf Championships played in the United States and is also a key part of the 2013 European Tour’s Final Series.
The WGC-HSBC Champions prize fund has increased to US$8.5 million from US$7 million and is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.
The other World Golf Championships include the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.