Hanson and McIlroy set to renew rivalry in China

8/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
 Peter Hanson   (Getty Images)
Peter Hanson (Getty Images)
Defending champion Peter Hanson of Sweden and last year’s runner-up Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will again do battle for the 2013 BMW Masters title from October 24-27 at Lake Malaren Golf Club, in Shanghai, China.

In 2012, a thrilling duel saw Hanson win the BMW Masters title, before declaring it was the most important victory of his career.

“Overcoming Rory McIlroy, one of the best golfers in the world, gave me an enormous confidence boost,” said Hanson.

“I know Rory is coming back this year and, like last year, he will be the crowd favourite. Rory, as well as several other top players, knows the course at Lake Malaren and it will be a great challenge to win again. But I am going back with confidence as the defending champion. I held Rory off last year and, if I play like I did in 2012, I believe I can do so again.”

As the World Number One at the time, high hopes were placed on McIlroy at last year’s tournament, but he missed out by one stroke.

“Two years ago [at the Shanghai Masters] I was the winner at Lake Malaren, then last year I came up short of forcing a play-off with Peter by one shot. I look forward to going back there this October and if I play at my best, I might have the chance to take back the title,” said McIlroy.

“I would love to win every time I tee it up, there is no doubt about that, and with the BMW Masters now being one of the biggest tournaments on The European Tour, I´m going to go all out for victory to take back my Shanghai crown.”

For the first time this year, the BMW Masters will become the first stop in ‘The Final Series’, the last four events in The Race to Dubai.

Any European Tour Member wishing to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – and therefore earn a chance to compete for the US$3.75 million Bonus Pool – will have to participate in at least two of the three events preceding the season finale. This regulation only applies to those players who are eligible for all three events at the close of entries.

“When we made the decision to return to the pinnacle of Asian golf by holding this tournament in Shanghai, BMW had one unswerving aim: to create a world-class golfing spectacle to give players, spectators, the media and our commercial partners the chance to experience golf at the highest standard possible, allowing everyone to enjoy the pleasure of golf through BMW,” said Eckhard Wannieck, Head of BMW International Sponsoring, Co-operations and Product Placement.

“Last year’s inaugural BMW Masters exceeded even our own expectations, and now in 2013 we are fully committed to creating an even bigger and better event.”