SHANGHAI —— In the context of BMW’s 25-year commitment to international golf, the BMW Masters that was first held in 2012 is relatively young. However, the tournament with a prize fund of US$ 7 million, which gets the exciting closing stage in the Race to Dubai of the European Tour underway, has already become of great significance.
The Final Series starts with the BMW Masters (28 October to 2 November, Lake Malaren Golf Club) once again this year – and will do so until at least 2018: At the BMW Experience Centre in Shanghai, the four-year extension to the partnership between BMW and the European Tour in May, together with the importance of the tournament for the Tour and golf in China was credited.
Laura Wang, Sales Vice President BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd., said: “With the return of a prestigious BMW tournament to the golfing world in Asia, the BMW Masters has completed the brand’s global commitment – and is making an important contribution to promoting golf in China. Through its successful debut in 2012 and its upgrade to the opening event of the Final Series last year, a world-class tournament has been successfully established, both for spectators and participants. We will stick to this requirement and high standard and are determined to take the BMW Masters to a new level once again in the coming four years. Our thanks goes to the China Golf Association, the European Tour, our presenting partner SRE Group and the Lake Malaren Golf Club for their great support.”
“The decision to add a new highlight to the Asian golfing calendar was absolutely right, and important,” said Christian Masanz, Head of BMW Golfsport Marketing. “The development of the BMW Masters in two years is impressive and is a strong signal in one of our most important markets. As a long-standing and committed promoter of global golf, a world-class tournament in China and Asia is an important cornerstone in our strategy – and will remain so in the coming years. Together with the BMW PGA Championship in London, the BMW International Open in Germany and the PGA TOUR playoff event BMW Championship, the BMW Masters is among the special golfing events that attract global attention.”
Last season, the BMW Masters was awarded “Best Sport Event” by the top sports association in China, the General Administration of Sport of China. In 2014 Shanghai can look forward to another excellent field. Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, defending champion Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Wu Ashun have already confirmed. A total of 78 players will tee off at the BMW Masters, there won’t be a cut. The top 60 pros in the world rankings are eligible (key date: 6 October 2014), with the remaining starting places being awarded after the Race to Dubai on 26 October 2014. There will also be four wild cards and 14 Chinese players nominated by the Chinese Golf Association.
“We always talk about the growth of the game in Asia, and particularly in China. The fact that golf is now an Olympic sport is going to kick in and it will be really important to have a foothold in the Chinese market – for both BMW and golf,” said Bjorn, who ranks second in the Race to Dubai. “We want to see players coming through from all parts of the world, and the Chinese are now making a big push. The BMW Masters provides them with more opportunities. There are some players coming through and showing they have great potential, and more will follow. There are so many brands involved in golf, but BMW throws so much behind it. We are grateful to have them on board.“
[Source: BMW Group]