Asia golfers to challenge Tiger Woods in Mission Hill, China
Updated: 2001-10-07 14:49
Three of Asia's top-ranked professional golfers will take on world number one Tiger Woods in the "BBK Tiger Woods Mission Hills Challenge", set for November 10- 11 in Mission Hills Golf Club, one of Asia's leading golf and country clubs, in Shenzhen of south China's Guangdong province.
Zhang Lianwei and Yeh Wei-tze from China's mainland and Taiwan Province and Derek Fung from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will challenge the 25-year-old American superstar golfer. Tiger Woods is the first ever golfer to hold all four professional major championship titles simultaneously and his spectacular career includes 36 tournament victories, 27 of which have come from the PGA Tour.
Woods' unprecedented achievements are well recognized worldwide. He was crowned the "World Sportsman of the Year" at the Laureus World Sports Awards in 1999 and last year. In addition, the Associated Press choose Woods as the Male Athlete of the Year for 1997, 1999 and last year while Reuters also selected him as the 2000 Sportsman of the Year.
The three Asian pro golfers will compete against Woods in an 18- hole play tournament on the World Cup Course at Mission Hills on November 10.
"The opportunity to play Tiger Woods on my home soil is very exciting for me," said Zhang Lianwei. "It is a tremendous challenge to play against Tiger as he has set so many records in the game, but I will do my best to play well and represent China and Chinese golf to the best of my ability," he added.
"It is my great honor to be one of the three golfers taking on Woods," said Yeh Wei-tze. "Cheered on by numerous supporters in Mission Hills, I will perform to my highest standard and have an exciting round."
Derek Fund also mentioned that it will be the most memorable experience in his career. He admitted it would be hard for him not to be nervous and it needs even harder efforts in pre-event training. "But Woods is a human being, so the most important thing for me is to be there and play your own game," he added.
Woods had said he had heard a lot about China and the Mission Hills Golf Club, which is the only golf club in China recognized by the US PGA and the Tournament Players Clubs. "I cannot wait to see China and the club for the first time."
As part of Woods' historic China tour, Mission Hills is to host a variety of golf and charitable events at the time. A golf clinic, in addition to the 18-hole tournament, will be held on the first day of his visit while a professionals vs amateurs event will feature the second day. Woods will also be invited to launch the First Tee Foundation, a program first founded in the United States which seeks to improve the affordability and accessibility of golf and facilities for young and economically disadvantaged players.
Davis Chu, Chairman of Mission Hills Golf Club expressed the anticipation of all Chinese fans towards Woods' first tour to China's mainland. "I hope that the visit will strengthen the exchange of sports between China and the rest of the world, help develop and promote the eagerness of Chinese youth to pursue a healthy, sporty lifestyle and further promote a better understanding of China's civilization and progress to the world."
The BBK Tiger Woods Mission Hills Challenge is organized by Guanlanhu Sports Industries Ltd. and China Golf Association, co- organized by IMG and title-sponsored by BBK Electronics.