Big names teed up for Beijing

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Beijing Huairou Topwin Golf and Country Club will host a star-studded international lineup when the Volvo China Open returns to the course for the third straight year, from April 26-29.

The 24th edition of China's flagship tournament is sanctioned by the China Golf Association, the European Tour and the Asian Tour, and boasts a total prize purse of 20 million yuan ($3.15 million).

A strong European contingent will feature defending champion Alex Levy of France, six-time European Tour winner Joost Luiten from the Netherlands and Austrian four-time winner Bernd Wiesberger.

World No 41 Li Haotong, the 2016 champion, and 2015 winner Wu Ashun will carry home hopes on the Ian Woosnam-designed course, which is located beside the Great Wall.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shubhankar Sharma of India, who leads the Asian Tour and European Tour order of merit standings, will spearhead the challenge from the rest of Asia.

"As China's longest-running international professional golf tournament, the Volvo China Open is now entering its 24th year and is well established as one of China's and the world's highest-level golf events as well as being a flagship tournament of the China Golf Association," said Zhang Xiaoning, chairman of China Golf Association.

"We are happy to see this year's Volvo China Open return for the third successive year to Topwin Golf and Country Club, where Li Haotong won in 2016 and began his incredible journey on the European Tour.

"This year we will see many of the top players from the European and Asian Tours and I wish them all good luck. And I hope that Chinese players will be able to stand out and bring honor to the country.

"Also, special thanks to Volvo for its long-term contribution to golf in China, which has played a key role in popularizing the game and improving the level of players here."

Shi Lin, chairman of Topwin Group paid tribute to Beijing Huairou Topwin's hosting hat-trick, saying: "Having the club selected for a third straight year is not only testimony to the quality of the course and the professionalism of the club, it is also yet another boost for Beijing Huairou district and the further development of its tourism economy.

"Compared to 2016 and 2017, the 'third time handshake' is more significant. In the past two years of the Volvo China Open, top players from around the world have put on a great show for the spectators and TV audiences and enhanced the attention and popularity of the Topwin club."

This year's tournament will also see the introduction of Mitime Group as the new co-promoter for the event.

Mitime Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which owns Volvo Cars.

"As the Volvo China Open enters its 24th year, the continuous investment clearly demonstrates Volvo's confidence and commitment to China and to golf," said Sven De Smet, chairman of the Volvo China Open Board.

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