Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back In China On Tour part 2!

Okay, so now I am done with the first tournament here in Chengdu, China. Most of the golf over the the 4 days was very good. There were some really good scores out there with the winner, Taiwanese player, Tsai Chi-huang, coming in at 18 under par to take home the RMB$150,000 (approx US$ 18,750) winners check and trophy. Many of the new courses in greater China can rival any championship course in the west. Designed by the likes of Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman these layouts feature slick slopping greens, bunker lined fairways and water everywhere you look. I was impressed with the level of play and equally impressed with the sportsmanship exhibited in the fairways and on the greens. Even the fans were very well behaved....well maybe with the exception of a few of the kids. That said, it's good to get them on the course and expose them to the game at an early age. Who knows there could be the next Tiger Woods out there. Judging by the way amature players such as China National Team memebers, Zhang Xinjun, who was the 2nd and 3rd round leader and 16 year old Benny Ye Jianfeng played with skill and heart, they wont be far behind. It won't be long before you'll see them "In The Show" on the PGA tour. Thanks for stopping by!Taiwanese player Tsai Chi-huang holds the winners trophy after claiming victory in the Luxehills Golf Championship. Tsai's 18-under total at Luxehills is the lowest on this year's Omega China Tour.Tsai Chi-huang hits his third shot to the 18th green.Zhang Xinjun (A) reacts after missing a short tap in par putt on the 17th hole. His chances of winning the tournament fell short after making a careless mistake.Tsai Chi-huang hits out of the sandtrap on the 14th hole.
Liao gave his all on a gripping final day. He finished in 2nd place.
Tsai Chi-huang and Liao Guiming walk up the 17th fairway. They finished 1 and 2 for the tournament.Liao Guiming hits his shot to the 14th green.
Zhang Xinjun (A) hits out of the trap on hole 14.1st round leader Yuan Hao misses a short putt on hole 13 on day 4.
The gallery watches the action on the 14th hole.
National Team member Wei Wei (A) lines up a shot on hole 7.
Zhang Xinjun (A) hits his drive on hole 16.3rd round leader Zhang Xinjun (A) lines up his putt on hole 18.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in China On Tour!

Hello from Chengdu, China. Most of you have heard about the major earthquake that rocked this region back in May. Thousands of people lost their lives and many more still remain homeless. While the region is bouncing back and the Chinese people are seem stronger then ever, that is not the reason I am here. I have been assigned to cover the Chengdu Golf Championship. Some of you might not know that China has it's own tour similar to the PGA in America and the European tour. The Omega China Tour was launched by the China Golf Association in 2005. It is a development tour intended to produce players who can move up to the Asian Tour or other international tours, such as the European tour and the PGA and to help accelerate the development of golf in China where golf was reintroduced to the PRC in 1980's after being absent during the early communist years. Golf was considered a sport for the elitist and not welcome in the newly formed communist country. And while the level of play isn't to the standard of Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson....yet, they do have players who can break par on a championship course and play under the pressure of tournament play. What strikes me the most of these unheard of swingers is their stories, where they have come from and how they got to where they are now. Players who were once security guards, postal clerks, peasant field workers, driving range workers and caddies. These players are lucky to have picked up a club and found they could hit the ball a mile, hit it straight and sink a snaking 12 foot birdie putt. Also, on hand this week is the China National Team which consist young up and coming players some who are just 16 years old. Given the same opportunities of their counterparts in the west they can and should go far. I have been hired by World Sport Group, a great group of professionals who are based out of the Hong Kong and Beijing offices, to document all the tournaments this year. Thanks for having a look and check back for another posting or two.1st round leader Yuan Hao reacts after his par putt fails to go in the 7th hole on day 2.Liu Anlin jumps for joy after making a birdie putt on hole 3.
16 year old superstar Benny Ye Jianfeng (A) of China watches his tee shot on the 3rd hole.1st round leader Yuan Hao of China reacts to almost holing out his chip shot on the 14th hole.
The gallery watches the action on the 12th hole.

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