Spieth, McIlroy and Watson head the WGC-HSBC Champions entries
World No. One Jordan Spieth, World No. Two Rory McIlroy and defending Champion and World No. Four Bubba Watson are the first players to book their place at this year’s WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club, November 5-8.
Spieth, winner of the first two Majors of the year, The Masters and the US Open, is looking to lift his first World Golf Championship trophy while McIlroy, whose season was stalled by an ankle injury, will be looking to reclaim the number one spot he held until last month for a total of 93 weeks.
Watson is hoping to repeat his spectacular victory of last year when he holed his bunker shot for an eagle to make the play off, and a 25-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to defeat South Africa’s Tim Clark, winning what was his first World Golf Championships victory alongside his two Masters titles.
Watson has enjoyed a strong season, winning the Travellers Championship and, after recently finishing in second place at the WGC-Bridgestone, stands in third place on the Fedex rankings. He knows he has a tough task ahead in defending his title against the world’s best players.
The popular American explained, “I am really looking forward to defending my WGC-HSBC Champions title in November. I am so proud to have won such a prestigious event and would love to be able to win it again. It is a special tournament at the forefront of golf in Asia and it has the potential to inspire a generation of golfers here. It’s an exciting time for golf in the region and I think HSBC has done a fantastic job in opening up the world of golf and helping to establish China on the world map of golf.”
Spieth, now ranked No. One in the world after winning the first two Majors of the year, The Masters and the US Open, said “It’s been a great year and I can’t wait to compete again at the World Golf Championship in China. Playing internationally is extremely important to me and I’m looking forward to returning to this great event.”
McIlroy, already a four-time Major winner at 26 years of age added, “I can’t wait to get back to Sheshan for the final WGC of the season. To win the biggest tournament in Asia would be a huge end of season boost and give me great momentum going into next year. I always look forward to the superb quality and condition of the course and the really warm welcome I receive in China. The energy, excitement and enthusiasm from the crowd is like nowhere else and, as always, the field is going to be very, very tough.”
Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship & Events at HSBC concluded, “We are now into the second decade of our flagship event in Asia and it really is an incredible time for golf in the region. If you needed a reminder of just how far golf in China has come in the last ten years, then look no further than the amazing scenes on the 18th green as last year’s WGC-HSBC Champions drew to an astonishing climax. It was everything a World Golf Championships event should be.
“As a flagship tournament we want the world’s best players to take part and play and, as we start the build-up for this year’s WGC-HSBC Champions, we are thrilled to be able to announce that the two best players in the world will be heading up the field along with our formidable defending Champion, Bubba Watson. The players’ support and commitment is what makes this tournament so special for us and this is a significant announcement with which to launch the 2015 tournament.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 11th edition of the WGC-HSBC Champions with all information available atwww.hsbcgolf.com along with details of revised qualification criteria.