Shenzhen Genzon Golf Club will host the 20th staging of the Volvo China Open from from May 1-4, 2014, it was announced today.
In 1995, Volvo became the first western company to engage with golf in China with the inaugural event launched with a prize fund of US$400,000. Much has changed and grown since then, and the tournament now boasts a purse of RMB 20 million which equates to more than US$ 3.25 million - an increase of more than 800%.
Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, commented: “During the last two decades the interest in golf here in China has constantly grown, as has the Volvo China Open, and that is the reason for our involvement in the sport in this key market for our businesses. Volvo’s golfing program in China is extensive - we are involved in all aspects of the game; professional and amateur golf, corporate tournaments and junior golf.”
The visit to Genzon reflects the ‘Open’ concept of moving the tournament and sharing it throughout the country.
Allen Fei, the General Manager of Genzon Golf Club, said: “We are thrilled to be staging such an event as the 20th Volvo China Open and it will be a privilege to host some of the world’s biggest golfing stars next May. We are sure that the players, the spectators and the media will all have a wonderful week and we look forward to doing everything we can to make this happen.”
Defending champion, Australia’s Brett Rumford, has already confirmed he will be there and said: “It will be a fantastic honour for me to defend my title at the 20th Volvo China Open next year because this year’s event was a real peak in my career. Being the national open championship of China, I think it’s a very prestigious title. I'm also really looking forward to playing at the fabulous Genzon Club in Shenzhen."
The championship has enjoyed continual growth over the years and now regularly attracts Ryder Cup stars and Major Champions. Strength in depth has also continued, boosted by the four pre-qualifying tournaments, and a feature of this year’s event was the emergence of the remarkable crop of highly talented home-grown players. As the quality of the field has continued to improve, so too has the media interest from around the world with this year’s tournament receiving more than 2,000 hours of televised coverage all over the globe.
Roger Chen, President of Volvo (China) Investment Co. Ltd. commented: “When we first began our golf sponsorship in China, we were confident that it would be a successful one for both parties but did not realise quite how it would grow. To be involved in one of the most important golf tournaments on the golfing calendar and know that our products are being televised all over the world makes us very proud and we are really looking forward to the 20th Volvo China Open."
And as Volvo Cars continues to expand throughout China, Lars Danielson, Senior Vice President China Operations, Volvo Car Group, is also looking forward to the event, “Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Volvo China Open and our business presence in China. In the past two decades we have been bringing our best products and unique Scandinavian luxury experience to our customers, while we made tremendous efforts in promoting this healthy lifestyle in China. As we enter a brand new development phase in China, we expect to attract more customers to this great golfing event in the future."
The championship is run in partnership with the China Golf Association whose Vice President, Wang Li-wei, said: “The China Golf Association and Volvo have a special relationship that goes back a long way and which has enabled the Volvo China Open to go from strength to strength. As we look forward to golf in the next Olympic Games and enjoy seeing so many of our young stars move onto the world stage, we feel that golf in China has never been in better shape and look forward to seeing more home-grown champions emerge both at home and worldwide."
The 20th staging of the Volvo China Open takes place from May 1st to May 4th 2014 at Shenzhen Genzon Country Club.
For more information, please visit www.volvoingolf.com