Stars gather for final WGC of the Year

10/8/2013 10:36:19 AM
Henrik Stenson & Sergio Garcia  (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson & Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)

The strength and depth of the WGC-HSBC Champions field was underlined today as more of the world’s best golfers confirmed their participation.

American stars Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley will join 2009 Champion Sergio Garcia, 2012 Open Champion Ernie Els and former World Number One Lee Westwood in trying to win the ‘Champion of Champions’ crown.

Leading the challenge from the next generation of golf stars will be US sensation 20 year old Jordan Spieth along with 20 year old winner of the 2013 BMW PGA Championship Matteo Manassero and young Japanese stars, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa, as the event returns to the Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai from October 31 to November 3, 2013.

The stellar 78-man field, which will include more than 40 of the world’s top 50 players, also includes 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, 2013 Open Champion, Phil Mickelson, 2013 US PGA Champion, Jason Dufner, World Number Six Rory McIlroy, defending Champion Ian Poulter and in-form World Number Four Henrik Stenson, World Number Eight and two-time winner on the US PGA Tour in 2013, Brandt Snedeker, former World Number One, Luke Donald and 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell.

Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2012 WGC-Bridegstone Invitational and 2011 US PGA Championship, is looking forward to returning to the Sheshan International Golf Club.

He explained: “I really enjoyed my visit to Sheshan International Club in 2011 and loved exploring Shanghai as it is an amazing city. This tournament is a really big deal as it is the final World Golf Championships of the year and one we all want to win so I am hoping I have a really great week.”

Jordan Spieth has taken the US PGA TOUR by storm in his first year as a professional, winning the 2013 John Deere Classic and finishing seventh place in the season long race for the FedEx Cup.

He was chosen as a captains pick for the 2013 US Presidents Cup team and also earned himself Rookie of the Year honors after an incredible season that included nine top ten finishes.

Spieth commented: “It has been an unbelievable year for me and I can’t wait to play in my first professional event in China. I’ve heard great things about the course and look forward to competing in my first World Golf Championship.” 

Henrik Stenson added: “I have had a fantastic few weeks and I am feeling great about my game as we head into the Final Series. There is still plenty to play for and I really would love to finish off the year with a win at the final World Golf Championships of the season. It is exciting to have put myself in position to win the Race to Dubai as well, and I hope I can capitalise on this opportunity.”

HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: “We are less than a month away from the start of the ninth edition of the WGC-HSBC Champions and I am delighted with how the field is shaping up. There is already an extremely strong contingent of US players committed and I believe this will be our strongest and most international field to date.

"Since we first came to China in 2005 we have seen Asian golf come of age but the speed of progress at all levels of the game has been amazing – the return of WGC-HSBC Champions to Shanghai feels like a defining moment.

"One of the reasons why the tournament has been such a resounding success is the support from the players and this year more than ever the strength and depth of the field makes it feel like ‘Asia’s Major’ has finally arrived.”

Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG, the promoters of the event added: “All our preparations are going extremely well ahead of the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions. The recent enhancements to the tournament have been well-received by the players and our already world-class field clearly reflects this.

"HSBC’s commitment to the event has helped to make it both Asia’s flagship event and one of the leading golf tournaments on the global golf calendar and we are looking forward to a fantastic week of golf."

Playing for an increased prize fund of $8.5 million in the recently elevated WGC-HSBC Champions, there will be more at stake than ever for the world’s best as they compete in the fourth and final World Golf Championships of 2013.