Schauffele to defend his title against Koepka, Johnson, McIlroy and Rose at Sheshan as ticket sales launch for ‘Asia’s Major’
Reigning champion Xander Schauffele will join the world’s top four ranked players, Brooks Koepka (main pix), Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in Shanghai later this year to compete for the coveted World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions title.
Tickets to the 15th edition of Asia’s biggest tournament, which takes place from October 31 to November 3, 2019 at Sheshan International Golf Club go on sale today. It is set to be the ‘must attend’ event of the season with tournament organisers anticipating one of the strongest fields in its history as the world’s best players compete for an increased prize fund of US$10.25 million.
Title holder Schauffele has gone from strength to strength since last year’s victory, winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA TOUR, tying second at the 2019 Masters Tournament and third at last month’s U.S. Open.
Schauffele, an American whose Chinese-speaking mother accompanied him to Shanghai last year, has since risen to as high as ninth on the Official World Golf Rankings. He said: “Winning my first World Golf Championships at the HSBC Champions last year in front of my family was amazing! Coming through such a world class field definitely gave me the confidence to know that I can deliver in the big pressure moments so I am really looking forward to attempting my first successful title defence in Shanghai in a few months. It was an unbelievable field last year but I think this year sounds like it is going to be even stronger with the announcement that all of the world’s top four will be there.”
World No. 1 Koepka won his fourth major earlier this season at the PGA Championship, and, with second place finishes at both the 2019 Masters and the 2019 U.S. Open, his current position at the top of the game is undisputed.
The American star said: “I am delighted to confirm I will be returning to Shanghai to play in the biggest event in Asia. I finished tied second at Sheshan in 2017 so I know the course suits me well. I love the vibe and energy that the Chinese crowds bring to the course each year. I think the scheduling changes with the majors has made the WGC-HSBC Champions an even more important event for us this year. With no majors scheduled after July, everyone will be targeting winning the final World Golf Championships of the year.”
World No. 3 McIlroy has already won twice, including THE PLAYERS Championship, this year on the PGA TOUR, and having finished in the top five on three previous occasions, will be looking to finally add this prestigious trophy to his trophy cabinet while World No. 4 and the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champion Rose added a 10th PGA Tour victory to his CV earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open.