The HSBC Champions tournament in China has been elevated to World Golf Championships (WGC) status in one of the most significant moves ever taken in the globalization of golf.

The International Federation of PGA Tours, the China Golf Association, IMG and HSBC announced the news today and it’s a move that confirms Asia’s arrival on the global golf stage.  

World number one Tiger Woods and Spain’s Sergio Garcia have already confirmed their entries into the world-class field that will gather at Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club on November 5-8, 2009.

The WGC-HSBC Champions will receive a $2 million increase in prize money to $7m and revised qualifying, which has excited players and Tour staff alike.

“This is one of the most significant steps ever taken in the globalization of golf, and one of the most logical,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.

Meanwhile, 14-time Major winner Woods, said: “I played in the HSBC Champions in 2005 and 2006 and I am looking forward to returning to Shanghai this November.”

The decision has been greeted with unanimous approval by the golfing fraternity with defending champion Garcia adding: “The tournament certainly has a very special feeling and many of the players already referred to it as Asia’s Major.

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