Peter Hanson will begin the defence of his title in the company of Denmark’s Thomas Björn and England’s Lee Westwood when the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group gets under way on Thursday.
The stunning Lake Malaren in Shanghai is all set to host the first event in the inaugural Final Series, which will see The European Tour’s finest battle it out for a combined US$30.5 million over the next four weeks as The 2013 Race to Dubai builds towards a thrilling climax.
Defending champion Hanson will tee off at 1110 local time alongside 15-time European Tour champion Björn and Westwood, who won the first Race to Dubai back in 2009.
Henrik Stenson, who currently leads the charge to be crowned European Number One and with it become the second Swede to win the Harry Vardon Trophy after Robert Karlsson in 2008, will take to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters Course at 1120 on Thursday with 2012 Race to Dubai victor Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, who sits just €425,573 off top spot after two European Tour wins this season.
Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter, who defends his WGC-HSBC Champions title next week across Shanghai at Sheshan International Golf Club, will be looking to gather some momentum at Lake Malaren this week and will begin that bid at 1100 alongside the South African pair of Richard Sterne – currently fourth in The Race to Dubai – and Branden Grace (seventh).
Former World Number One and 2011 Race to Dubai champion Luke Donald, meanwhile, will tee it up with the oldest winner in the history of The European Tour in the ever-popular Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez and in-form Dutchman Joost Luiten at 1050.
England’s Simon Dyson will launch the second edition of the BMW Masters at 0650 on Thursday morning.