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极速快乐8:Local hero Li primed to pluck a Rose in Shanghai

By YANG XINWEI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-05 10:12
China's Li Haotong tracks his shot during the second round of the French Open in Guyancourt, France, on June 29. [Photo/Agencies]

极速快乐8群 Rising Chinese star Li Haotong believes he has the game to contend for "Asia's major"-the Oct 25-28 WGC-HSBC Champions title at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.

Defending champion Justin Rose of England has also confirmed his participation in the region's showcase event, which will offer an increased prize fund of $10 million as the world's best golfers head full speed to China.

A two-time winner on the European Tour, Li finished tied for seventh at the WGCHSBC Champions in 2015, his best in five appearances to date, and believes his form is trending in the right direction to challenge for the crown.

"I always look forward to playing in the WGC-HSBC Champions. It is such a big event and it is very special to play for such an important title against the best players in the world and in front of my home fans," said the 22-year-old Hunan native.

"Winning majors and World Golf Championships are definitely goals of mine, so it would be amazing to be the first Chinese player to win a WGC and to do it in my homeland."

Li, ranked No 42 in the world and No 1 in China, is showing a resurgence in his form, finishing top-25 in his past three starts, including a tie for 16th at the US Open in Shinnecock Hills last month.

Earlier this year, the crowd favorite outdueled Rory McIlroy in a head-to-head showdown to win in Dubai.

As well as hosting the strongest player field in Asia, the Shanghai tournament will feature significant enhancements to the spectator experience, including adding virtual-reality technology to the new Lakeside area, boasting a viewing platform with premium sightlines of the No 2 and No 9 greens.

Rose's victory last October kick-started a remarkable run of form that has seen him rise from a world ranking of 13th to his No 3 position, with every chance of taking over the top spot in the coming weeks.

Olympic gold medalist Rose, who rebounded from an eight-shot deficit on the Sunday to triumph at last year's WGC-HSBC Champions said: "I can't wait to get back to Shanghai. It was such an important week for me last year and it turned an average year into an excellent one.

"The confidence I gained from coming from eight shots back in such a big tournament against a world-class field really helped me finish the year on a high note and I have kept the momentum going.

"I'll be very proud to stand on the first tee at Sheshan and be announced as the defending champion."

Peter Wong, deputy chairman and chief executive of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, is equally enthused, saying: "HSBC is proud to support this internationally renowned tournament and the growth of golf across the Asia-Pacific.

"We are delighted that a world-class field of golfers will be on the course at Sheshan again this year and look forward to a compelling spectacle for the fans."

Zhang Xiaoning, president of the China Golf Association said: "We are very excited about this year's WGC-HSBC Champions as HSBC and IMG are working closely with us to help to grow the game in China.

"This year they have taken significant steps to make the tournament even more accessible to the public by lowering ticket prices.

"There are also major enhancements to the spectator experience planned, and we believe the tournament will again attract the world's best golfers to Shanghai."

As part of an ongoing initiative to grow the game in China, tournament organizers have launched early-bird discounts with as much as 40 percent off regular ticket bundles and complimentary entry to all ticket holders during the Professional-Amateur competition on Oct 24.

Families and group purchases stand to enjoy even greater savings. The special early-bird ticket offer was launched today with official ticketing partner, 247 Tickets.

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