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Beijing Longxi Hotspring to host Omega Championship
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This year's Omega Championship, the Omega China Tour's season-ending event, will be held for the first time at the 27-hole Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club. The tournament will be held in Beijing from Oct 9-12 and will conclude the season, following this week's Tianjin Championship.

"We're really excited about hosting the Omega Championship, especially as it's the final event of the season and will confirm the Omega Order of Merit winner," said Gan Lianfang, chairman of the board at Beijing Xingpai Group, the club's developer.

Zhang Xiaoning, secretary general of the China Golf Association, said: "Beijing Longxi is a great course and provides another good test for our players as they continue to raise their standards on the Omega China Tour. The Tour is concluding its fourth season and the Omega Championship is one of its greatest events, so we're looking forward to an exciting showdown."

Longxi's championship 7,119-yard, 18-hole layout, designed by Les Watts and David Hemstock, is set in an environment of natural underground hot springs and features an array of water hazards.

The Championship has been the circuit's flagship event since the Swiss watchmaker became the Tour's title sponsor in 2006, and enjoyed two successful editions at the Tianan Golf Club, also in the Chinese capital. Liang Wenchong, No 1 on last year's Asian Tour, won the inaugural event, while Zhang Lianwei was victorious last year.

The Championship traditionally draws large crowds as it concludes the Omega Order of Merit, won by Li Chao in 2005 and 2007 and Zhang in 2006. This year's Order of Merit champion will be crowned at a prestigious gala dinner held at the Sofitel Wanda Beijing on Oct 12.

"We focus a lot of our energy on the Omega Championship, as it's the Omega China Tour's final event of the season," Carlos Cardenas, vice-president of Omega China, said.

Liao Guiming's runner-up finish in this month's Luxehills Golf Championship saw the 31-year-old leapfrog Zhang into top place on the current Omega Order of Merit.

Li is in third place and resumes his bid for a third Omega Order of Merit at this week's Tianjin Championship.

(China Daily September 23, 2008)

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