Sunday 23rd September 2018
For the first time in its 14-year history, the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship will be staged from November 19-22 at the Ocean West International Golf Club in Fujian province.
The decision follows eight months after the venue hosted the Volvo-sponsored Fujian Ocean West Qualifying in March and adds Fujian to Beijing, Guangdong, Shandong and Hainan as hosts to the event since it was first staged in 2005.
Sven De Smet, Chairman of Volvo China Open Board, said he was delighted how the event has extended its territory to Fujian for the first time, a move he firmly believes is a milestone in enhancing the brand influence of Volvo while promoting the development of China’s junior golf scene.
“We are glad the Ocean West International Golf Club will work together with us again as this is a golf course with stories to tell,” he said.
“Earlier this year at the Volvo China Open Fujian Ocean West Qualifying, 15-year-old Beijing teenager Chen Pei Cheng qualified for the Volvo China Open, which made up for the disappointment of losing out in last year’s Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship in Hainan. It also proved that top junior golfers have a chance to do well at Ocean West.
“By moving the date of this year’s championship to late November, we have given competitors more time to prepare for the matches. I’m looking forward to seeing more great stories unfold here at Ocean West.”
Ocean West International Golf Club has become a benchmark golf course in Fujian province since opening, with the venue committed to becoming a high-end golf resort boasting top class facilities and atmosphere in the Fujian area. A 7,206-yard layout designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, the championship course is characterized by its semi-hilly terrain and narrow, contoured fairways while 78 challenging bunkers lie in wait to test the best in China junior golf.
As has been the case in the past two years, 32 players – 16 boys and 16 girls – selected by the organizing committee and ranked according to the R&A Men’s and Women’s Amateur Ranking and the China Golf Association Junior Boys’ and Girls’ Ranking will compete in the four-round match player event held over three days.
On offer for the winner of the boys’ title is a place in the 2019 Volvo China Open – sanctioned by The European Tour– while the girls’ champion will be invited to play in the Volvo China Open Pro-Am.
“We are honored to be working with Volvo again,” said Sun Xing Bo, General Manager of the Ocean West Golf Club. “The Volvo China Open Qualifying event in March not only helped train our management team, it also greatly increased the club’s popularity both within the golf industry and beyond. We are fully confident in our ability to run the 2018 Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship and play our part in promoting the development of junior golf in China.”
Zhang Xiao Ning, President of China Golf Association also offered praise for the nation’s flagship junior golf tournament. “Just as the Volvo China Open has played a vital role in the development of golf in China, the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship has made a clear impact in supporting the growth of Chinese junior golf and discovering talented youngsters,” he said.
“At the recent Asian Games in Jakarta, the Chinese men’s golf team won the team silver medal, while Jin Cheng won the individual bronze. In addition, the Chinese women’s golf team won the team bronze and an individual silver. Many of those team members have competed in the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship, including former champions Jin Cheng and Du Mo Han. A top-level event platform like the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship gives China golf a promising future, with both talent and continuity.”
Zhang added: “We are very happy the event will be staged in Fujian for the first time, The Ocean West International Golf Club is a first-class venue and we fully expect the 32 players in the field will follow the example of their predecessors, improve their skills, strengthen their will and compete at the highest level.