The Asian Tour returns to the Middle Kingdom for its first event of the year with Volvo China Open set to tee off at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen from May 2-5.
The Volvo China Open offers a lucrative prize purse of CN¥20,000,000 (approx. US$3,178,000) and will bring together more than 40 Tour champions from over 20 countries.
Australia’s Scott Hend, who is currently leading the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity standings, will head to the Volvo China Open as one of the genuine contenders having won his 10th Tour title in Malaysia last month.
All of Hend’s victories have come in Asia. While the Australian is highly regarded as the most successful international golfer on the Asian Tour, he believes he still has much to do to take his game up another notch.
“I am starting to get to where I want to be, I am not there yet but it is a slow progression. I’m a grinder and a fighter. It doesn’t matter how old I’m. I work hard at what I do.
“I love playing golf and it’s what I live for. I play to win and that’s what I set out to do all the time when I tee up for a tournament,” said Hend.
Hend will have his title ambitions put to test again by a stellar field led by China’s number one, Li Haotong, who is also the highest ranked player for the event, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, Thai star Thongchai Jaidee and defending champion Alexander Bjork, who became the first Swede to lift the Volvo China Open trophy last year
Li is expected to have passionate home crowd behind him as he chases his second Volvo China Open win, which is celebrating its 25th edition this year.
The Chinese has served notice of his talent with his many other eye-catching top performances including a win in Dubai on the European Tour last year and a runner-up finish in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.
“I’m more assured of myself now. I feel like the things I thought I might not be able to do can actually be achieved. I also have a sense that I am getting closer and closer to the best fields in the world,” said Li.
The Volvo China Open is the longest running professional golf tournament in China and is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the China Golf Association.