Pitching and smashing in Shanghai

16/10/2012 21:47:03
Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy headline BMW Masters  (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy headline BMW Masters (Getty Images)

Four of the world’s top five players and 11 of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team will headline the world golfing elite assembling in Shanghai for the inaugural BMW Masters from October 25-28.

And to kick off an exciting tournament week, table tennis star Timo Boll will take on World Number One Rory McIlroy and the man who retained The Ryder Cup for Europe, Germany’s top golfer Martin Kaymer, as the two golfers swap clubs for bats for an exhibition match on the 18th green of the Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course at Lake Malaren Golf Club.

Boll is already looking forward to the match: “Martin Kaymer and I have a lot in common: as kids we both wanted to become professional footballers and both grew up playing sport around Düsseldorf – Martin at Mettmann Golf Club, me at Borussia Düsseldorf. I enjoyed playing golf as a hobby, while he played a bit of table tennis on the side. However, we are still yet to meet. Now the BMW Masters has thrown us together in Shanghai. I am looking forward to our table tennis challenge and the nearest-to-the-pin competition. I am sure Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy will be able to give me a few tips. It will certainly be interesting to chat with them both about the similarities between our sports in terms of dynamics and accuracy.”

The German is well loved by the Chinese for his extraordinary creativity and technique, and last week passed the 1,000,000 follower mark on the Chinese social media platform “Tencent”. Boll will travel to Shanghai straight from the European Championships in Denmark (October 17-21), where he has the opportunity to add to his impressive record of 15 European Championship titles in singles, doubles and the team competition.