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« 14 And Headed Down Magnolia Lane: "The latest example of what might happen should China embrace golf other than superficially." | Main | And Guan's Lead Is Two... »
Saturday
Nov032012

Holy Toledo: The World Golf Championships Add An Event Outside The U.S.!

One of the worst kept secrets in golf was confirmed with a press release featuring more pile-on quotes than any in recorded history, but the news was not a shocker: The HSBC Champions becomes a full WGC event, with a three year PGA Tour exemption to the winner, FedExCup points and a return to that dreary course in Shanghai.

But at least it's a World Golf Championship played somewhere else in the world besides America.

From an unbylined Reuters report:

The event, held in China since 2005, had been given WGC status in 2009 but was below the level of the Cadillac, Accenture and Bridgestone Invitational events, all of which are held in the United States.

Finchem, however, said the event would be afforded the same status as the other three events from 2013, though because it will be played in November, the FedEx Cup points will count for the 2014 season.

Next year's winner would also receive a three-year exemption to play on the U.S. Tour and the tournament will carry a 10 per cent premium in Cup points like the other three WGC tournaments.

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Reader Comments (27)

That course is unviewable for me...amoeba bunkers everywhere.
11.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
Here's a doozy....Lee Westwood has played more WGC events than anyone else....41. Good ol' Lee is 0-FER. Zero wins.

By my count he's also played 39 majors, again, 0-FER.

SO that's 0-FER-80.

Talk about a FAUX #1.....
11.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
What the course has is 5 par four and a half's where a 3,4,5,6 or even a 7 (Lee nearly had one) is very possible. Surely Geoff that makes it a bit better than "dreary".
dtf: did he do all that losing over the past 2 years? because i think that's all the ranking is based on.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone
Geoff. Why do you say dreary?
Great viewing for me and I watched it all. It's a golf course that if you are playing well ,will reward great shots, but also penalise bad ones. Ask DJ and Bubba about that.
It was a great tournament with it all down to the last hole. Dreary - really?
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
It wont be at this course next year anyways. But boy was that some awful play down the stretch. Can't remember the last time I saw that many bladed/chunked chips, bunker shots etc
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
DTF,

Maybe you made typo, but Lee Westwood has played in 59 majors: 13 Masters, 13 U.S. Opens, 18 British Opens, and 15 PGA Championships.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
thusgone, goes to the point of how does a person with that track record ever ascend to #1 in any time frame?

See that Lee shot even-par in round 4 for another solid top-10 finish at 18-under.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Good catch Tom, you are correct. I counted it up and made a mental note, and clearly mis-remembered later on ;)

So make that 0'FER-100.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
dtf: it's a new world since tiger knocked himself off the pedestal.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone
Del - get over it!!!!!!!
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder how the heck Westwood is as good *as he is* with that wacky follow thru on his full swing?

I know putting is his noted shortcoming, and his chipping can go either way on a given week, but while Furyk and others are noted for their bizarre backswing, other than Justin Leonard, I cannot think of anyone with any success who has such a weak follow thru
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
LOL chico, no ill will held here toward Lee...just a large number that jumped out at me and I found interesting. I've hammered on his poor US record before but fact of the matter is I'd love to have the opportunity to play a round of golf and drink a few brews with Mr. Westwood, he seems like a regular guy that would be fun to be around. And remember, I'm a big backer of Monty!
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Lee doesn't have a good shortgame, but in reality that doesn't preclude winning a major, just means you need to get hot the right week. I think bouncing back on forth on the two tours and living in England has hurt Lee though. The greens in Asia and Europe run very differently than the greens in the US, where 3/4 majors and wgc's are played.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Asian courses are what they are. Darius Oliver was written about this a few times.

Sheshan is at least at the higher end of what is available in Asia. The only tournament courses that would be clear architectural winners are mostly found in Japan. Kawana might be the best if they wanted to hold "Asia's major" at a worthy course that can handle the crowds.

Almost all the rest of the courses in the region either look like Nicklaus-inspired monster courses, are courses wedged into smaller spaces, or are courses that are set upon ridiculous terrain because they appeal to local notion of "beauty."
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
@Rob. How much have you played in Asia?
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
@metro

Lot's - just got back yesterday from a business trip to Asia and played rounds in Japan and Hong Kong.

Over the last 10 years, I have played about 50 courses in Japan, Taiwan, China, HK, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia. Including about 10 more in the UAE and Qatar if you want to include that in Asia.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
@ Rob. I've lived here for 15 years. There are loads of great courses in the region and not all are as you describe, in fact far from it.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
@metro - name them. If the courses are notable, I have probably played them.

Apart from Kawana, Nauro, and Hirono, I want to know which Asian courses you consider "great" compared to the greats in the US, Great Britain, Ireland, and Australia.

I would love to know what I have missed.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
@metro - PS - here is a quote from Darius Oliver, the author of a couple of books listed on this site directly to the right of this space ----->

Asia is home to more disappointing courses on good land than anywhere else, and our aim is to help address this issue by encouraging quality golf development and promoting the work of passionate, talented architects over those simply looking to exploit the financial opportunities available in the market. Aside from some terrific older courses in Japan, there aren’t many outstanding layouts here, nor is there sufficient knowledge and understanding among prominent media agencies, such as Asian Golf Monthly, to make change and highlight deficiencies with certain design practices. Clubs able to buy championship pedigree or afford to pay the exorbitant appearance fees of big name professionals have the highest profiles, and in the media poor design is largely unaccountable.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
@Rob
Red Mountain and Blue Canyon in Phuket.
Santiburi,Koh Samui.
Ria Bintan, Indonesia.
Sentosa and Tannah Merra - Singapore.
Thai Country Club - Bangkok.
KL Country Club.
Royale Jakarta.
Just a few to start with.
There are plenty of ordinary courses being built in the US too - no? Well according to the regulars here at least.
I learned my golf on the Melbourne sandbelt courses, so I think I have a reasonable idea of what makes a decent golf course is and I have played many, more than decent tracks here.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNospin
Red Mountain - ridiculous terrain.
Blue Canyon - Canyon course is solid - except for the 14th which is supposed to be a signature hole but it is just awkward.
Santiburi Samui - extremely ridiculous terrain.
Ria Bintan - it is a good course with some "money shot" holes, but not great
Tanah Merah - Garden course is a good course, great conditioning, but somewhat wedged into limited space
Tanah Merah - Tampines course - the Garden course's weak little sister - you not missing anything here
Sentosa - Serapong course - average with some sexy holes that stretch around the harbour
Sentosa - Tanjong course - might as well sell this to condo developers - a waste of space
Thai Country Club - I have played flat courses before, but the flatness of this one is suffocating - go play Alpine CC instead.
Royale Jakarta - haven't played - no comment
KL Country Club - haven played - no comment

You've lived there for 15 years, any others?

Maybe you did not grasp my initial post - I talked about "great" courses worth of holding "Asia's major" as the HSBC Champions likes to call itself. If you grew up on the Sandbelt, then use RM, Kingston Heath, and Vic as templates.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
http://www.missionhillschina.com/en-US/haikou/golf/golf_courses/blackstone_course

"Best tournament course in Asia...." and that is not coming from me, but from the pro's with extensive play in Asia.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan F.
Springfield - Hua Hin.
Santiburii - Koh Samuii not Chiang Rai
Mines - KL
Nirwana - Bali

Fair enough on the "great" along the lines of RM and The Heath. You left out Metro by the way :-) The sandbelt is iconic and would not transplant easily to anywhere in Asia for loads of reasons - climate and topography being the most obvious.
It's been said by more than a few that the Singapore Open could one day be called Asia's "major". We will see when a new sponsor comes on board. Serapong is in my opinion anyway, one of the best in Asia and more than capable of holding a Major.
There are many, many terrific golf destinations in Asia and I get a little snarky when I hear them denigrated as a whole. Not fair and not true, but again, that's my opinion.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
I haven't been to Hua Hin, although friends in Singapore mention Black Mountain and Banyan.
The Mines - a wedged-in feeling between and along the lake and and up the abrupt hill on the other side
Nirwana Bali - actually a pretty good course - underrated and not mentioned enough

Metro is one of my personal favourites.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Note to Self: never, ever, argue with Rob about golf in Asia.
11.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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