China Open set for Chengdu return next year

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Wu Ashun became the first Chinese to capture a European Tour title on home soil at the Volvo China Open in 2015. []

Chengdu will host the 25th anniversary edition of the Volvo China Open next year.

The 20 million yuan ($2.9 million) tournament, which was last staged in the city in 2011, will return to the Sichuan provincial capital from May 2-5 as the nation celebrates a quarter of a century of its flagship pro tournament.

Organized by the China Golf Association and sanctioned by the European Tour, the Volvo China Open makes a welcome return to the Rich Jacobson-designed course-venue for Volvo China Open qualifying events in 2013 and 2014-which is located southeast of Chengdu.

"Twenty-five is a very special number as China's national tournament celebrates a quarter of a century on the nation's sporting calendar," said Sven De Smet, chairman of the Volvo China Open board.

"It marks an important milestone in what has been significant development of golf in China, as well as underlining the strong and visionary partnership between Volvo and the China Golf Association.

"The success of the 2011 event demonstrated the enthusiasm of people from southwest China and the local fans' love for the event.

"When we were last in Chengdu, images of major champions Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia holding two of the city's baby pandas proved popular around the world and helped further boost the popularity of the tournament.

"I believe with the full support of The Tradition at Wolong Valley, the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Chengdu will be a fitting setting for the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Volvo China Open."

Thanks to strong support from the CGA, the tournament has gradually grown into a top pro event, boasting an illustrious list of winners that includes England's Paul Casey, Alex Levy of France, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and 2018 champion Alexander Bjork of Sweden.

At 7,209-yards, The Tradition at Wolong Valley is the closest golf club to Chengdu city center and offers some of the best playing conditions in the region.

"We've had the honor of hosting two Volvo China Open qualifying events and enjoyed a successful relationship with Volvo," said club official Jimmy Han.

"The staging of next year's Open will give Wolong Valley a chance to show its best side to the world. As the name 'The Tradition at Wolong Valley' indicates, the club is committed to carrying forward the tradition of golf as a gentlemen's game.

"As a club we are young and in the process of growing our membership base, The Tradition is excited to share the Volvo China Open with our current and future club members.

"We believe that hosting the Volvo China Open will further enhance the image and popularity of Wolong Valley club and enrich the members' experience.

"Over the next eight months, we will do our best to work closely with the Volvo China Open committee to make sure all players, sponsors, officials and media will fully experience the wonderful hospitality of The Tradition at Wolong Valley."

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