China tour primed for run to finale

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The PGA Tour Series-China Series will wrap up its 2019 season Oct 14-20 with the Clearwater Bay Tour Championship at Hong Kong's Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club. Photo provided to China Daily

After eight tournaments so far this season, the PGA Tour Series-China Series is taking a short break before returning to action in Guangzhou in mid-July and wrapping up its final six events with the season-ending Clearwater Bay Tour Championship in Hong Kong in October.

Now in its fifth season, the tour has crowned eight different champions this year, most recently last week at the Huangshan Championship when Bai Zhengkai became the first Chinese winner of 2019.

With champions from six different countries so far this campaign, the tour boasts a roster of top up-and-coming domestic and international talent.

"We have had a tremendous 2019 season to this juncture, and the tournaments we've already held will help set the stage for the final six events on our schedule," said Greg Carlson, PGA Tour Series-China executive director.

"We're pleased to provide such high-level tournaments at world-class golf courses for our fans to watch these players pursue their professional dreams."

Nansha Golf Club is hosting the Guangzhou Open for the first time from July 15-21. The tour will remain in Guangdong province the following week for the Dongguan Open at Mission Hills Golf Club's Greg Norman signature course.

While Mission Hills has hosted previous events, including the inaugural PGA Tour Series-China tournament in 2014, this will mark the first time the course designed by Norman, a two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member, will host a PGA Tour Series-China Series tournament.

The tour will take a six-week break following the Dongguan Open before the final push of four events to wrap up the season.

A still-to-be-determined city and course will host the action Sept 9-15, followed by the Zhuzhou Classic (Sep 16-22) at Xiangshui Bay Golf Club in Hunan. The season draws to a close with back-to-back events-the Macao Championship at Caesars Golf Club on Oct 7-13 and the Clearwater Bay Tour Championship on Oct 14-20 in Hong Kong.

"We're anticipating an exciting finish to this season. We're all anxious to see how our order of merit plays out, who our Player of the Year will be and who will advance to the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour," Carlson said.

"All those questions will be answered during these final six tournaments, playing off the incredible action we've already witnessed this season."

Carlson also noted the importance of developing new relationships with cities and courses that haven't previously hosted the tour, while maintaining close associations with existing hosts.

"While we truly enjoy year to year returning to courses that have hosted our events, it's always noteworthy when we go to different courses and establish new relationships," he said.

"That's the case with these final six tournaments-a bit of the established, along with the new."