Chengdu, Chongqing to host 2018 PGA TOUR Series-China openers
By Laury Livsey, PGATOUR.COM
BEIJING, China—The 2018 PGA TOUR Series-China will tee-off its regular season with back-to-back events in the Western China cities of Chengdu and Chongqing in March.
Luxehills International Country Club will host the Chengdu Championship from March 15-18 before Poly Golf Club stages the Chongqing Championship from March 22-25 as the PGA TOUR Series-China resumes after a one-year hiatus. Further tournaments will be announced next month.
This year’s series will feature an increased number of tournaments, 14, with each offering RMB 1.5 million, a 25-percent increase over purse levels from 2014 to 2016.
The top-five on this year’s Order of Merit will earn status on the 2019 Web.com Tour, the path to the PGA TOUR. Haotong Li, the first Chinese player to break in to the world’s top 50, and current PGA TOUR players Zecheng Dou and Xinjun Zhang are among graduates from the Tour.
Greg Carlson, Executive Director, PGA TOUR Series-China, said: “We’re excited to start our season with the Chengdu Championship at Luxehills International Country Club. We’ve previously played in Chengdu, but this will be our first visit to Luxehills. The players are going to love this course and the challenges and intricacies it offers.”
“The fact we’re a short train ride to the Chongqing Championship is also very appealing,” Carlson continued. “Chongqing is a terrific city, and Poly Golf Club is a facility we know well. Our players who have played there previously will enjoy going back, and those heading to Poly Golf Club for the first time will like what they see. We’re excited to start the 2018 season in Western China in two of the country’s biggest cities. It’s a strong way to start the season, and it will be fun watching the players compete all year in their quest to make it to the Web.com Tour.”
Luxehills, which has 18 holes designed by Mark Hollinger, has hosted many prestigious events including OneAsia’s 2010 Luxehills Chengdu Open won by Wenchong Liang and the European Tour’s 2011 Volvo China Open won by Nicolas Colsaerts. Chendgu is the capital of Sichuan province, home to the majority of China’s panda population, and is hosting a PGA TOUR Series-China event for a second time.
CB Fong, General Manager of Luxehills International Country Club, said: “Luxehills has hosted many international professional golf tournaments and we are happy to work with PGA TOUR China for the first time. As the Chengdu Championship is going to launch the 2018 PGA TOUR Series-China season, we look forward to presenting our course in the best-possible condition for players from around the world.”
“By hosting the tournament, Luxehills will continue to promote the sport of golf in Sichuan province, and will help the players experience the many highlights of Chengdu, one of China’s iconic tourist destinations,” Fong continued.
Poly Golf Club, which hosted a European Challenge Tour event in 2014, is another of Western China’s iconic courses and has 36 holes in the center of Chongqing, one of China’s biggest cities and one of four direct-controlled municipalities along with Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.
Luo Fei, Vice General Manager, Poly (Chongqing) Cultural and Tourism Industry Development Management, said: “It’s our honor to host a PGA TOUR Series-China event in March and we will try our best to work closely with Tour officials to prepare well for this event. We are the only 36-hole golf club in Chongqing and can assure the professional golfers of top-quality course. As this is our first time hosting a PGA Tour Series-China event, we are looking forward to this cooperation.”
This year’s first International Qualifying Tournament concluded on Sunday (February 4) at Mission Hills Haikou, which also hosts a second 72-hole qualifier for international players this week. The Mainland China qualifier will be held in Guangxi from February 27-March 2 (Tuesday-Friday).
The PGA TOUR established PGA TOUR Series-China in 2014 as its third international developmental tour, following in the footsteps of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Since its inception, PGA TOUR Series-China players have received Official World Golf Ranking points for top finishes at official tournaments.