Stars gather for WGC-HSBC Champions

Mon 28 Oct 2013

Stars gather for WGC-HSBC Champions

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Singapore, October 28: The field is now finalised for the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions as 78 players from 21 countries arrive at the Sheshan International Golf Club this week to compete for a US8.5 million prize fund in the fourth and final World Golf Championships of the year.
The final field contains 25 of the 2013 European Tour winners, 22 of the 2013 US PGA Tour winners, 40 of the world’s top 50 ranked players and 23 Ryder Cup players with 66 appearances between them. The stellar field boasts 19 Majors, 12 World Golf Championships, 244 European Tour victories, 244 US PGA Tour victories and four players who have been ranked number one on the world rankings. The USA enjoys the highest representation in the field with 24 American stars hoping to join Phil Mickelson on the winner’s roster, while England have ten players and South Africa, the third highest, with eight. There are six Chinese golfers in the field; Wu A-shun, Li Haotong, Huang Mingjie, Hu Mu, Liang Wenchong and Huang Wenyi.
Along with reigning Champion, Ian Poulter, there are six past Champions in the field including two time winner Phil Mickelson(2007, 2009), Sergio Garcia (2008), Francesco Molinari(2010), Martin Kaymer  (2011) and the Champion of the inaugural HSBC Champions in 2005, England’s David Howell.
To the great pleasure of all of the golfing fraternity, Howell has returned to his best form recently, triumphing at the 2013 Dunhill Links Championship in September after a dip in rankings saw him miss out on playing the WGC-HSBC Champions in recent years. He is delighted to be back and said, “I am really looking forward to returning to the Sheshan International Golf Club.  It really hurt me to miss out these past few years as I’ve watched the event grow into ‘Asia’s Major.’  When I qualified, it really felt like an important landmark, hopefully symbolising my return to the top flight of world golf. Winning in 2005 remains one of the highlights of my career and it would be a dream come true if I could get myself in contention on Sunday afternoon against this world-class field.”
The field is littered with stars including 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, 2013 Open Champion, Phil Mickelson, 2013 USPGA Champion, Jason Dufner, world number six Rory McIlroy, in-form world number four Henrik Stenson, world number eight and two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2013, Brandt Snedeker, former world number one, Luke Donald and 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell.  Leading the challenge from the next generation of golf stars is US sensation 20 year old Jordan Spieth along with 20 year old winner of the 2013 BMW PGA Championship Matteo Manassero and young Japanese stars, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa.
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said, “When we first came to China in 2005 we could only have dreamed of a field like this. In less than a decade the landscape of Asian golf has changed beyond all recognition and our flagship WGC-HSBC Champions event has been one of the catalysts for this incredible growth. The quality of the line-up speaks for itself – it’s undoubtedly the best and most international field of golfers ever assembled in Asia.”
Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG, the promoters of the event added, “The strength of the field we have gathered here this week underlines how positively the players received the recent enhancements to the tournament and that the WGC-HSBC Champions is now undoubtedly elevated to its rightful status. HSBC’s commitment to the event has helped to make it both Asia’s flagship event and one of the leading golf tournaments on the global golf calendar and we are looking forward to an intriguing week of golf. “
Playing for an increased prize fund of $8.5 million in the recently elevated WGC-HSBC Champions, there is more at stake than ever for the world’s best as they compete in the fourth and final World Golf Championships of 2013, 31st October to 3rd November. For the first time, the HSBC Champions is 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 returns to Shanghai after taking place at Mission Hills last year after seven very successful editions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.
The WGC-HSBC Champions prize fund has increased to $8,500,000 from $7,000,000 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.
The following marquee players have won the coveted WGC-HSBC Champions title;  David Howell, YE Yang, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson – the only one to have won the title twice, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter, who became the latest to join that impressive roll of honour in 2012.
Ends.
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H&KHSBC Golf Press OfficeSteve Bradley+ 44 (0) 207 413 3716
IMGPR ManagerMichele Mair+ 44 (0) 20 8233 5177
PGA TOURSenior Director of CommunicationsLaura Neal+1 904 273 7655
ASIAN TOURManager, CommunicationsCalvin Koh+65 9794 8354

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.
HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite. HSBC is a Patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The Royal & Ancient creates a centre of gravity in 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 WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and was once described by 14-time Major winner and former World Number 1 Tiger Woods as “The crowning jewel of all of Asian 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 calendar.  As golf returns to the Olympic Games for Rio 2016, HSBC is sponsoring the Brasil Classic event on the Web.com Tour (April 2013).
However, underpinning those blue-riband events is a longer-term goal to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes.  As well as committing to the professional game, HSBC has a longer-term goal to create the legacy through sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes around the world. 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. This includes the HSBC-sponsored China National Junior Team, the HSBC China Junior Open and the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship: a year-long series of tournaments designed to give China’s elite junior golfers the competitive platform they need to develop their game. 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 such as honesty and respect.
For more details on HSBC's golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,600 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,681bn at 31 March 2013, the HSBC Group is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with 3,500 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging. IMG College is the leader in collegiate marketing, licensing and media rights. IMG’s Joint Ventures, IMG Reliance, IMX, IMG-CCTV and IMG Dogus in the emerging markets of India, Brazil, China and Turkey, offer the company significant long-term growth opportunities.  IMG Media is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports programming. IMG Events and Federations owns and manages some of the most sought-after events and includes long-standing associations with the world’s most important sports organizations, leagues and federations. IMG Fashion owns and operates fashion events around the world and IMG Models represents the world’s top models and leading designers. IMG Art+Commerce represents the most influential photographers, art directors and stylists.
For the past 50 years IMG Clients has been the global leader in talent representation, including over 1,000 elite athletes, coaches, industry executives and prestigious sports organizations across the sports, entertainment, fashion and media industries. IMG Tennis and IMG Golf manages the careers of the biggest stars on the court and the green.  IMG Performance is aimed at developing sports performance research, products and services that have grown out of the division’s world-leading integrated academic and athletic training institution, IMG Academy.  IMG Consulting connects many of the world’s leading brands with consumers through access to unique sports and entertainment properties. IMG Licensing is considered one of the premier independent licensing companies in the sports, entertainment and media world. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About World Golf Championships/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) 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.  The Asian Tour joined the Federation in November 1999.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Federation was expanded in June 2009 and now includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour Corp., Professional Golf Tour of India, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, Japan LPGA, Korean LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
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.