China awaits the arrival of three major champions and two Ryder Cup winning captains, as well as a host of international stars, for this week’s inaugural ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills China. The first fully sanctioned European Senior Tour event to take place in China will feature some of the game’s greatest names playing on the Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup course at Mission Hills from March 11-13. The names include: two-time major champion Sandy Lyle; major champion and victorious Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam; major champion Wayne Grady; Ryder Cup-winning Captain Sam Torrance; and the 2011 Order of Merit Winner Boonchu Ruangkit.
The maximum 72-player field covers over 20 nationalities, who have won no fewer than 125 European Tour titles, competing for the $350,000 US prize money on the famous World Cup Course at Mission Hills Shenzhen. The World Cup course opened in 1994, and was considered by LINKS Magazine to be one of the most influential courses built in the last quarter-century. The World Cup course was Mission Hills’ first and the facility now boasts a world-record 12 courses.
“I am thrilled that the Senior Tour is heading to China”, said Sandy Lyle, winner of the 1985 Open Championship and 1988 US Masters. “Golf in China has developed rapidly in recent years, in large part due to the prominence of Mission Hills and the work of the Chu family; it’s fantastic that the senior game is now going to be part of this. I am really looking forward to competing in what will be an historic occasion for the Tour.”
Ian Woosnam, the 2006 European Ryder Cup Captain and winner of the Green Jacket at the 1991 Masters said: “I am extremely excited about the prospect of playing in China, especially on the World Cup Course at Mission Hills Shenzhen, which has so much history. It will be a great occasion for the Tour and for golf fans in China. On behalf of the players our sincere thanks goes to Dr. Handa and ISPS, Mission Hills, WSM and the China Golf Association for making this happen.”
The tournament is co-sanctioned by the China Golf Association (CGA) and will feature a number of China’s own Senior Pros who are currently competing in qualification for the tournament. They will compete against some of the legends of the game in this Senior Tour event, the first on Chinese soil.
The Championship is title-sponsored by ISPS (International Sports Promotions Society), chaired by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa, which is committed to developing the sport and bringing the game to new audiences. The presenting sponsor is Mission Hills China, which continues to play a central role at the forefront of golf development in the region, by bringing this inaugural event to the country.