BMW Masters: Kick off for the third European Tour Final Series event – Stenson is “looking forward to the challenge”.
Shanghai. The Meet-the-Players press conference of the BMW Masters 2015 was held on Tuesday at the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai. English golf star Justin Rose, Swedish No.1 Henrik Stenson and professional Chinese players, Wu Ashun and Li Haotong, joined the event and officially kicked off the BMW Masters 2015, the penultimate Final Series tournament on the European Tour calendar of this year. The 78 qualified pros fight for a winner’s cheque of 1.166 million US dollars. The total prize money is seven million US dollars.
Ulrich Sanne, Senior Vice President and CFO of BMW China said: “Golf is a strong pillar within the global BMW sports sponsoring strategy. BMW golf tournaments around the world reflect our commitment on a premium level. The 2015 BMW Masters has once again attracted a high-class field, and we are looking forward to another stunning tournament week in Shanghai.” Other officials from the China Golf Association, European Tour, the Shanghai Sports Bureau, and the Shanghai Baoshan People’s Government were also present and expressed their best wishes to the players.
Rose and Stenson, as the highest ranked players in the field, shared their expectations for the forthcoming BMW Masters. Rose won the U.S. Open in 2013, becoming the first English player to win this title since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He has won eight times on the European Tour and PGA Tour in his career, including the recent UBS Hong Kong Open. He said: “The whole thing is about getting to Dubai and be in with a chance of finishing No1 in Europe. If I finish no worse than second this week it will mean I can control my own destiny in Dubai. I’ve done well here before, so I’m confident I can put in a good performance.”
Stenson turned pro in 1998. He has won 17 professional tournaments around the world, including the 2006 BMW International Open. He had an extraordinary season in 2013 when he became the first player in history to win both the FedExCup on the PGA TOUR and the Race to Dubai on the European Tour in the same year. Stenson finished runner-up in the FedExCup in 2015. “It’s always nice to be back at a BMW tournament,” he commented. “They are class events and this one is no different. It’s a good week and I’m looking forward to getting going. I played pretty well last week and it’s an indication that I’m heading in the right direction. Lake Malaren has a good mix of holes. There are some tough ones, but there are also some birdie and eagle opportunities. If the breeze gets up it can have quite an impact here. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The two Chinese pros Wu Ashun and Li Haotong want to make full use of home advantage. Since emerging on the international scene in 2008, Wu Ashun has established himself as one of China’s leading stars, having claimed two victories on the Japanese Tour and one on the European Tour. The 20-year-old Li Haotong already has four professional victories to his name and became the first Chinese golfer to earn his card for the Web.com Tour, in the US. The BMW Masters 2015 is a valuable opportunity for Chinese players to push for entry into the Olympic Games next year.
Four junior Chinese players teamed up with the professional stars and tried to shoot the opening ball through a traditional Chinese coin, with the mounted bell in the middle that symbolizes good luck in the Chinese culture.
At the 17th hole, a water-strewn Par 3 measuring 201 yards (184 metres) sees the most progressive and innovative luxury sedan: the all-new BMW 7 Series, the hole-in-one prize for the first player that can record an ace. Launched only a few weeks ago in China, the all-new BMW 7 Series is not only the perfect prize for the players, but also stunning eye candy for the crowd.