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August 12, 2009

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Chinese duo to star in China Classic

CHINESE stars Liang Wenchong and former champion Zhang Lianwei will be among the main draws at the US$500,000 Media China Classic, when the tournament makes its debut on the inaugural OneAsia schedule.

OneAsia will stage six events this year and the China Classic marks the second visit to China following the season opening Volvo China Open.

The event will be held for the fifth successive year at the Royal Orchid International Golf Club in Shunde, south of Guangzhou, from October 15-18.

Zhang, 44, won the 2006 event one year after losing a play-off to compatriot Yuan Hao in the inaugural event and has also competed in the last two editions. "I have many good memories of the China Classic as I've played in every one of the events. I was fortunate to win in 2006 and also helped redesign the fairways at Royal Orchid," Zhang said in reference to the Nick Faldo-designed layout.

First victory

Liang, Asia's No. 1 in 2007, will be gunning for his first victory in the event, which was won by Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant in 2007 and Korean prodigy Noh Seung-yul last year.

The 31-year-old Liang, China's top finisher last year in joint-16th place as 10 Chinese made the cut, is a big supporter of the home-grown tournament and said he was happy to see a Chinese corporation continue to throw its weight behind domestic golf.

"Midea is a famous Chinese brand and the Midea China Classic is a famous tournament in the Chinese golf calendar. I'm looking forward to playing in the Midea China Classic and hope I can make a breakthrough this year," he said.

Ben Sellenger, Commissioner of the PGA Tour of Australasia, was delighted to see another Chinese event added to the OneAsia schedule. "It will not only feature world-class field of players from across Asia-Pacific but will also allow Chinese players to develop their games against the best in the business," Sellenger said.

OneAsia teed off in April with the US$2.2 million Volvo China Open, which was co-sanctioned with the European Tour. Australia's Scott Strange won the event at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club, winning US$366,000 and a place in the Volvo World Match Play Championship.


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