BMW’s steadfast commitment to European Tour golf will once again be showcased with the US$7 million BMW Masters in Shanghai getting the second Race to Dubai ‘Final Series’ under way between October 30 – November 22.
In the context of BMW's 25-year commitment to international golf, the BMW Masters, which was first held in 2012, might be relatively young, but it still attracts some of the world’s best golfers, with the likes of Open Champion Rory McIlroy, European Number One Henrik Stenson and World Number Four Justin Rose, already confirming their places at the Lake Malaren Golf Club.
With a four-year extension between BMW and The European Tour being signed in May, and Rory McIlroy winning the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, that same month, excitement is already building ahead of another showpiece BMW European Tour event.
“With the return of a prestigious BMW tournament to the golfing world in Asia, the BMW Masters has completed the brand's global commitment – and is making an important contribution to promoting golf in China,” said Laura Wang, Sales Vice President BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd.
“Through its successful debut in 2012 and its upgrade to the opening event of the Final Series last year, a world-class tournament has been successfully established, both for spectators and participants. We will stick to this requirement and high standard and are determined to take the BMW Masters to a new level once again in the coming four years.”
Last season, the BMW Masters was awarded the “Best Sport Event” accolade by the top sports association in China, the General Administration of Sport of China.
Christian Masanz, Head of BMW Golfsport Marketing, believes hosting a successful event is very important for the company.
He said: “The development of the BMW Masters in two years is impressive and is a strong signal in one of our most important markets. As a long-standing and committed promoter of global golf, a world-class tournament in China and Asia is an important cornerstone in our strategy – and will remain so in the coming years.”
Shanghai can look forward to another excellent event this year with Thomas Björn, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and defending champion Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, also confirmed in the 78-player field.
In addition to the established stars on show, the event also offers upcoming players the chance to further their development on the big stage, with four wild cards up for grabs and 14 places available for Chinese players, to be chosen by the Chinese Golf Association.
“We always talk about the growth of the game in Asia, and particularly in China,” said Race to Dubai contender Björn. “The fact that golf is now an Olympic sport shows that it’s really important to have a foothold in the Chinese market – for both BMW and golf.
“We want to see players coming through from all over the world, and the Chinese are now making a big push. The BMW Masters provides them with more opportunities. There are some players coming through and showing they have great potential, and more will follow. There are so many brands involved in golf, but BMW throws so much behind it. We are grateful to have them on board.”