The International Federation of PGA Tours announced that the 2012 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions will be played the week of October 29 – November 4 at Mission Hills Guangdong, China, on the Olazabal Course.
The first HSBC Champions took place in 2005 and quickly established itself on the global golf map. It was awarded the title of World Golf Championship in 2009, further enhancing its reputation as one of world’s biggest tournaments.
The previous seven editions of the WGC-HSBC Champions took place at Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai with the following marquee players claiming the coveted title; David Howell, Y.E. Yang, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson – the only one to have won the title twice – and in 2011 Germany’s Martin Kaymer became the latest to join that impressive roll of honour.
Mission Hills hosted the 1995 World Cup, the first major international golf competition in China. The longest among Mission Hills’ 12 courses at 7,320 yards, the Olazabal Course was designed by two-time Masters Tournament champion Jose Maria Olazabal and also hosted more recent editions of the Mission Hills World Cup in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Developed by the late David Chu, Mission Hills is considered one of the first and most extensive golf and tournament facilities in China.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, speaking on behalf of the Federation, said: “It is a fitting tribute to David Chu that Mission Hills Guangdong will host the 2012 HSBC Champions. David Chu’s vision for the growth of the game of golf in China was unparalleled and he, along with his sons Ken and Tenniel Chu, have executed on that vision. I have been to Mission Hills Guangdong on numerous occasions, and I know that the 2012 HSBC Champions will be an outstanding success there.”
Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship and Events for HSBC, said: “HSBC is excited about the prospect of the 2012 HSBC Champions being played at Mission Hills Guangdong. Like the Chu family, we saw the opportunity for growth in China and having nurtured HSBC Champions into a major event over seven years in Shanghai we can now look forward to expanding our horizons even further in southern China, both because of its proximity to Hong Kong and so that Chinese golf fans there will have an opportunity to witness the world’s best professionals compete.”
Dr. Ken Chu, chairman of Mission Hills Group, said, “Mission Hills has always been devoted to promoting international exchange and goodwill through golf. The Pearl River Delta has the most golf courses and largest population in China. With the World Golf Championships coming to Mission Hills in November for the first time, it will help to popularize the game of golf in China and further promote the region's sport, leisure and tourism development.”
HSBC’s agreement for sponsorship of the HSBC Champions runs through the 2012 event. The International Federation of PGA Tours, HSBC, and IMG, the operator of the event, are currently engaged in discussions relative to the event’s future and will be making an announcement as to that at a later date.
The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.
The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, Cadillac Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational. The 2012 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions boasts a prize fund of US$7 million.
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