CHONGQING，China（Mar27 2019） —It was an eventful day at Poly Golf Club in Chongqing as former top Chinese amateur Jin Cheng and senior executives including Shankai Sports’ CEO, Mr. Feng Tao, attended a press conference ahead of the PGA TOUR Series-China’s season-opening event of 2019.
On Thursday, 144 players from across the globe including 49 players from China will tee it up at the Chongqing Championship, the first of 14 events this year, as players look to take advantage of the Tour’s unique structure which offers top players a pathway to the PGA TOUR.
The Tour has had a very positive impact since its start in 2014, especially in helping Chinese players develop their games and get them ready for the highest level. In the inaugural season, Li Haotong progressed from the Tour and now plays on the European Tour, and is currently the 38th highest ranked player in the world. Then two years later, Dou Zecheng and Zhang Xinjun also used the Tour’s platform before becoming the first players from China to earn full PGA TOUR membership for the 2017/2018 season.
Here are transcripts from today’s press conference with representatives from Shankai Sports, China Golf Association, Chongqing Golf Association, PGA TOUR, and former top amateur golfer Cheng Jin, as we look ahead to another exciting season:
Mr. Feng Tao（FT）, Shankai Sports CEO
“After last year’s season, the PGA TOUR Series-China has greatly improved in many aspects. The experience we and the PGA TOUR have in organizing such high scale tournaments with big prize money is inseparable from the efforts of all other parties. This year, all sides will work together to push the PGA TOUR Series-China to even higher levels.”
“I would like to express my special thanks to the China Golf Association and to the PGA TOUR for their trust and support. I also would like to thank the Chongqing Poly Golf Club and the PGA TOUR Series-China staff and volunteers for all their hard work and preparation that goes into creating such a world-class event.”
“We warmly welcome the players from all over the world and hope that they will have a pleasant week in the famous city of Chongqing, which is famous for its culture, fashion and history.”
Mr. Li Jinliang, China Golf Association Director – Competitions
“In recent years, the overall level of golf in China has been continuously improving, and talented young players have been emerging. That is all made possible by having a stable platform for players to play in professional tournaments.”
“So we want to thank the PGA TOUR and they’re operating partner Shankai Sports for helping Chinese players compete on a very competitive platform. Many young Chinese players have used this platform to help develop their games and grow as players.”
“With the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 coming soon, we also hope that Chinese golfers can achieve good results.”
Mr. Wu Jianhua, China Golf Association Vice Chairman/Chongqing Golf Association Chairman
“I am very glad to welcome the PGA TOUR Series-China to Poly Golf Club for a second straight year. I would like to thank the China Golf Association and the Chongqing Sports Bureau for their strong support for the tournament, and also to the PGA TOUR and their operating partner Shankai Sports. At the same time, I would also like to thank the Chongqing Poly Golf Club for its efforts to promote the development of golf in Chongqing.
Mr. Rob Ohno, PGA TOUR SVP, International Tours
“We are excited to start the fifth season of the PGA TOUR Series-China this week. When we think back to the first season of this Tour in 2014, we have to marvel at the progress we have made, especially in strengthening golf in China.”
“This year we will be following the progress of Jin Cheng on this Tour. He was the No. 1 ranked amateur in China before turning professional and he seems to be playing well as he won the Mainland China Q-School event a few weeks ago.”
“To date, nine players from China have won 16 of the 51 PGA TOUR Series-China tournaments held during the Series’ first four years. That means almost every third tournament, a player from China has won, by far the highest percentage among all countries represented on PGA TOUR Series-China.”
“To conclude, I would like to say that we are honored to be a part of growing the game of golf in China, and all of us involved in golf bear this responsibility. We are excited to provide players in this part of the world a competitive tour where they can improve their games, get to the Web.com Tour, and eventually onto the PGA TOUR.”
Jin Cheng, 2019 PGA TOUR Series-China Mainland Qualifying Tournament Winner
“I’m not a student anymore, so I’m just looking forward to playing this year on the PGA TOUR Series-China and also play some events on the Asian Tour. Hopefully it’s going to be a very busy year. I also think that as a rookie there is so much for me to learn and experience, so I hope I will have a good attitude and stay humble and positive.”