The European Tour remains in China this week for the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf & CC in Beijing. Home player Li Hatong is the defending champion.
A strong field has assembled in Beijing this week to contest the Volvo China Open. Last week’s winner Bernd Wiesberger will tee it up together with Englishmen Ross Fisher and Chris Wood, Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and defending champion Li Haotong.
The tournament returns to Topwin Golf & CC for a second year. It’s an undulating layout that was designed by 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam. An interesting feature on the course is the fact the Great Wall of China can be seen from almost every hole. The water hazards will play a big part in the strategy as there are only three holes where water isn’t a factor.
Since this event was first contested on the European Tour schedule in 2005, there have been some great editions of the competition. In 2006 Paul Casey beat fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson in a playoff, in 2010 Y.E. Yang was an impressive winner before Nicolas Colsaerts put on a display of power hitting to triumph the following year. Branden Grace was the winner in 2012 and Brett Rumford took the title in 2013. Frenchman Alex Levy outpaced Tommy Fleetwood in 2014 and home players have won in each of the last two seasons. Ashun Wu claimed victory in 2015 and young Li Haotong won last year, finishing three clear of Chile’s Felipe Aguilar.
The weather forecast looks set fair for the week – warm and sunny.
Venue: Topwin Golf & CC, Beijing, China
Date: April 27-30
Course stats: par 72, 7,261 yards
Defending Champion: Li Haotong (-22)
Thursday 27– Sky Sports 4 from 7.30am
Friday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 7.30am
Saturday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30am
Sunday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30am
Ross Fisher – The Englishman three putted the last at the Shenzhen International to miss out on the playoff by a shot. He’s on great form though after finishing tied third in Mexico and tied fifth in the Match Play – It’s time for him to get a victory.
Fabrizio Zanotti – Another player on great form – he won in Malaysia, was tied 12th in the WGC-Mexico Championship and was tied fifth last week in the Shenzhen.
Thorbjorn Olesen – The talented Dane showed signs of form last week in Shenzhen with a tied eighth place finish. He closed with a round of 67.
Key hole: 18th – A 583-yard par-5 that will be reachable in two for the longest hitters. Water protects the front right of the green so anything not quite solidly hit could end up in trouble.