The European Tour is in China this week for the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf & CC in Beijing
Volvo China Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
Alexander Levy defends the Volvo China Open this week and is bookies’ favourite having won the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Sunday.
Levy strengthened his Ryder Cup bid with his one stroke victory at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to move up to ninth in the European points list and a career-high 47th in the world rankings.
The Volvo China Open returns to Topwin G&CC for the third straight year and Levy shot a course record 63 in 2017 whilst playing with European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.
The Frenchman began the final round seven back of Dylan Frittelli last year and eventually won with a birdie on the first extra hole.
“Playing in China obviously agrees with me,” Levy said ahead of this week.
“It’s a lucky country for me and not only at the Volvo China Open as I’ve also finished seventh, third and fourth at other tournaments here so there’s no doubt that I like the place.
“Winning last year in China was definitely a different feeling from 2014 because your first win is always special.
“I’ve played well since the start of the season. “I’m happy with the way I’m working, the way I’m swinging and the way I’m playing. It’s a good time for me. I think it’s the best I’ve been swinging in my career, so I just enjoy it and try to hit the best shots I can.”
2016 champion Haotong Li, China’s number one, is in the field again and is having a superb season. The 22-year-old beat Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic in January and comes into this week fresh off a T32nd finish at The Masters.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is also highly fancied having won twice already this season.
The tournament returns to Topwin Golf & CC for a third 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.
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Venue: Topwin Golf & CC, Beijing, China
Date: April 26-29
Course stats: par 72, 7,261 yards
Defending Champion: Alexander Levy (-17)
Thursday 27– Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am
Friday 28 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am
Saturday 29 – Sky Sports Golf from 5.30am
Sunday 30 – Sky Sports Golf from 5.30am
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Alexander Levy – The Frenchman is rightly favourite for the tournament this week. He is the only man to have won this tournament twice and could well win in a third time this week.
Haotong Li – The 22-year-old will be the fan favourite this week and is looking to match Levy as a two-time China Open winner
Ashun Wu – The home player won here in 2015 and also won the Lyoness Open in 2016. He will carry a lot of support and has made his last four cuts
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.