BEIJING, CHINA(May 7 , 2019)—Almost 20 PGA TOUR Series-China players including Americans Max McGreevy, Luke Kwon, Matt Gilchrest and Frederick Wedel and Germany’s Velten Meyer took part in a unique opportunity to visit the Great Wall before the Beijing Championship begins at Topwin Golf and Country Club from May 9-12.
The players freely roamed one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ in historically lavish Chinese clothing at the famous Mutianyu section before the entrance was open to the public. Plenty of selfies ensued.
McGreevy and Gilchrest, who were sporting the two military uniforms, are both currently inside the top 10 on the Order of Merit and will be hunting for their first PGA TOUR-affiliated victory this week.
McGreevy has come close to winning in China, finishing fourth and joint-second in the opening two events before a tie for 19th at last month’s Haikou Championship. He is eager to get over the line and move closer to returning to the Web.comTour, where he played a full season last year.
“I’ve been working hard and rejuvenating for another good week here, so (I’m) really hoping to have another good finish,” said McGreevy, who was a member of the winning Oklahoma Sooner NCAA Championships team in 2017 after clinching the final point. “One of the main reasons that I came over here was because my old teammate (Luke) Kwon was here, and it’s been a lot of fun with him so far and it’s only going to get better, doing these fun adventures like this.”
Gilchrest, who played in college at Auburn University, is hoping to hold the trophy Sunday, boosting his ranking on the Order of Merit, where he currently lies in seventh, two spots behind McGreevy.
“I played well the first three weeks, and I’ve only gotten better in the offseason,” said Gilchrest. “I’m missing the sixth event to go to my best friend’s wedding, so I really want to do well here in Beijing and try to make up some money that I’ll lose in the sixth event.”
Kwon, meanwhile, is a history fan and admits he felt inspired by the visit to the Great Wall—excited to cross a new experience off of his bucket list.
“I love all this history stuff, so seeing this is very cool. It’s really high up, and the views are unbelievable. Logically speaking, I still can’t understand how this wall was built, but it’s been great fun to explore,” said Kwon, who is tied for 25th on the Order of Merit. “It’s just inspiring getting to see this, and I really hope that I can play well here.”
The Beijing Championship is the first event of a three-week swing. The next two tournaments are the Qinhuangdao (May 13-19) and Nantong Championships (May 20-26). Following two weeks off, the Tour will resume with the Suzhou Open (June 10-16) and Huangshan Championship (June 17-23).
The top five on this year’s Order of Merit will earn status on the 2020 Web.com Tour, the path to the PGA TOUR. Haotong Li, the first player from China to break into the world’s top-50, and former PGA TOUR players Zecheng Dou and Xinjun Zhang are among graduates from the Tour.