The European Challenge Tour will visit China three times this year after the Belt & Road Colourful Yunnan Golf Open was added to the 2018 schedule, taking place from April 12-15 at Kunming Yulongwan Golf Club, in Yunnan Province.
Co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and the China Tour, the Yunnan Open will carry a prize fund of US$350,000 and will mark the first of three lucrative events in China this season, with the US$350,000 Hainan Open and the US$500,000 Foshan Open taking place in October.
The Yunnan Open will become the second Challenge Tour event of 2018, taking place three weeks after the season-opening Barclays Kenya Open which will kick-start the campaign from March 22-25.
The 126-man field for the inaugural Yunnan Open will comprise 63 players from the Challenge Tour and 63 from the host nation, including a number of sponsor’s invitations.
Kunming Yulongwan Golf Club, in Taiping New City, Kunming, has previously hosted the China Tour on four occasions and was last year voted by Golf Digest as one of the top ten golf courses in China.
The Lee Schmidt-designed course is set in the stunning mountain-lined district of Kunming, and at 7,265 yards long the challenging layout is set to provide a stern test for some of Europe and Asia’s most promising young players.
“Following the success of the Hainan Open and the Foshan Open it gives me great pleasure to confirm that we are adding the Belt & Road Colourful Yunnan Open to our 2018 schedule,” said Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour.
“China is now a major player on the global golfing stage, and in order to grow our tour it is vital that we can hold top class events all over the world.
“We have to give the China Golf Association full credit for helping us to get this new event up and running, and also to CGDS and the Yunnan Golf Association promoting it.”
“As a major golf destination in China, Yunnan Province proudly offers an all-year-round gentle climate, as well as a number of high quality, spectacular and unique golf courses,” said Sun Xiaohong, Yunnan Golf Association Executive Chairman.
“Over the past ten years golf has been developed rapidly in Yunnan, with more tournaments taking place each year. In 2018 the Belt & Road Colourful Yunnan Open will reach a whole new level both domestically and internationally.”
“By co-sanctioning with the European Challenge Tour, this new tournament will strategically help Yunnan to reach a higher level as a global golf destination, and further enhance the positive impact of the tournament – this is a huge contribution to the 2018 China Tour season,” said Pang Zheng, General Secretary, China Golf Association.
“We treasure the co-sanctioning opportunity with the European Challenge Tour in China, and welcome members from the European Challenge Tour to compete with China Tour members in Yunnan Province,” said Ouyang Wen, Chief Executive Officer, China Tour – Regular Season.