DID YOU KNOW – TEN FACTS ABOUT THE VOLVO CHINA OPEN
• Defending champion, Brett Rumford will be aiming to become the first player to successfully defend the Volvo China Open, after claiming the trophy in 2013.
• The 2013 Volvo China Open saw Brett Rumford win for the second consecutive week, following his triumph in the Ballantine’s Championship. The man from Perth became just the second Australian to win back-to-back official European Tour events, following Jack Newton (1972 Dutch Open and 1972 Benson and Hedges Festival).
• In the 19 previous stagings of the Volvo China Open dating back to 1995, there have been 19 different winners, from 13 different countries. Australia and England have the most wins with three. For Australia they are: David Gleeson ((2002), Scott Strange (2009) and Brett Rumford (2013). For England they are: Ed Fryatt (1998), Simon Dyson (2000) and Paul Casey (Nov 2005 – part of the 2006 European Tour season). The host nation have produced two winners – Chen Jun (1997) and Zhang Lian-wei (2003).
• The Genzon Golf Club will be playing host to the Volvo China Open for the first time and also the first time The European Tour has been to this venue. The Genzon Golf Club will be the tenth different course to stage the Volvo China Open since its inception in 1995.
• The Volvo China Open had the distinction of being the first European Tour event to be played twice in the same season. This occurred in the 2006, firstly played in November 2005, won by Paul Casey and then by Jeev Milkha Singh in April 2006.
• European Tour history was made at the 2013 Volvo China Open. Ye Wo-cheng became the youngest player to compete in a European Tour event, aged just 12 years and 242 days. He broke the record of Guan Tian-lang, who was 13 years and 177 days in this event in 2012.
• The 2013 European Tour Number One, Henrik Stenson, will be looking for his first victory in the Far East. This will be his third appearance in the Volvo China Open. He last played in 2010 where he finished tied eighth. His first visit was in 2006 and shared 20th position. No Swede has yet won the Volvo China Open.
• A man with fond memories of the Volvo China Open is Nicolas Colaserts. The Belgian claimed his maiden Tour title in this event in 2011. He came very close to making a successful defence in 2012, finishing second. In 2010 he was also finished in the top ten, claiming a tie for eighth. Colsaerts went onto win his second title in another Volvo-sponsored tournament, this time the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship. Should he win this week be would become the first player in European Tour history to win his first three European Tour events with the same title sponsor.
• Another player who enjoys China is Ian Poulter. The Englishman’s last European Tour success came in China in 2012 at the WGC – HSBC Champions at the Olazábal Course at the Mission Hills Resort.
• This will be the 20th year that Volvo have put their name to the China Open. This tournament will be the company’s second longest continuous sponsorship of a professional event. The longest is 21 years of the Volvo Masters, between 1988-2008 inclusive.