Wu has his work cut out
Updated: 2016-04-22 08:13
By Yang Xinwei(China Daily)
Defending champ set to face some of Europe's best in Volvo Open
There's an old theory in golf that says it's easier to win a title than to defend one.
Wu Ashun will test that when he tees off in the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing's suburban Huairou District from April 28-May 1.
Wu, the first Chinese golfer to win a European Tour title on home soil and one of only two Chinese golfers ranked in the top 200, will be challenged by some of the best players on the European Tour.
"I'm looking forward to playing in Beijing and I am totally committed to defending my title," said Wu.
"There hasn't been a top international professional tournament in Beijing for a long time. I truly believe that with the championship coming back to Beijing, it will have a profound impact on the development of golf in China."
The Volvo China Open is the European Tour's biggest open tournament of the year so far. And with the Ryder Cup and Olympics soon to follow, players are keen to put themselves in contention for international glory.
"Beijing is such a vibrant city and I have heard Topwin is very close to the Great Wall, so it will be a really cool experience to see that," said Austria's Bernd Wiesberger, who has three wins on the European Tour.
"I'm pushing for more titles heading into the summer and hopefully I can do that in Beijing by claiming my first victory on Chinese soil."
Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who has a strong track record of top-5 finishes in the Volvo Open, is equally enthused. "I have always enjoyed playing this tournament and I'm determined to get my first win in China," he said.
"Chinese events are always great fun and always very well organized, so I'm sure it will be a great week."
Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez said the tournament's reputation was a big draw for him.
"I'm eager to make my debut in the Volvo China Open because it is an event I have heard great things about and it will be both fun and challenging to finally compete in China's national open," said the colorful Jimenez, who often puffs a cigar while he's playing.
"I really love the Chinese people - they are friendly and the fans are very passionate about their golf, so it is always fun to play in front of them and hopefully it can inspire me to victory."
Zhang Xiaoning, vice-president and secretary general of the China Golf Association, said the strong international field will enhance the sport's stature here.
"I believe the international field, along with the Chinese contingent led by defending champion Wu Ashun, will offer an exciting competition for the crowds, as well as give people the chance to fully appreciate the unique appeal of golf," said Zhang.
Several family-oriented activities will surround the tournament, including trick shot demonstrations, golf lessons and displays of Volvo products. Tickets are available at www.volvochinaopen.com or at the gates - and spectators might witness history in the making.
"It will be exciting to follow defending champion Wu Ashun in his fight to keep his crown," said Per Ericsson, president of Volvo Event Management.
"If he succeeds, we will not only see the Rong Gaotang Award go to the champion again, but it would be a historical victory as no one has yet successfully defended this title."
Wu Ashun tracks a drive en route to winning last year's Volvo China Open. Provided To China Daily
(China Daily 04/22/2016 page23)