Some were skeptical when they started calling it “Asia’s Major” back in 2005, but scan the list of entries for this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai and it’s increasingly difficult to argue the validity of that claim. PGATour.com columnist Rob Bolton points out that eight of the top 10 golfers in the world, and 33 of the top 50, will tee it up at Sheshan International Golf Club from Thursday to Sunday, fighting for the winner’s share of the US$7 million in prize money.
All four winners of this year’s Major Championships — Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer — are in the 80-man field, along with newly-minted World No. 1 Lee Westwood and former No. 1 Tiger Woods. And for the first time an Asian tournament could have an impact on the very top of the Official World Golf Ranking. A good week in Shanghai from Woods, Kaymer or Mickelson could mean Westwood’s reign at No. 1 could be one of the shortest in golf history. (You can see the entire field here and learn how they qualified for the HSBC here.)
But all of this matters little if you happen to be in Shanghai and a.) can’t afford tickets1, b.) can’t be bothered to travel out to Sheshan2, or c.) can’t figure out how to watch the tournament on TV3. Perhaps, then, you’d like to try to follow the action via Twitter? I’ve started a Twitter list of players, journalists and organizations who are at the event and hopefully will be tweeting throughout the week (assuming they can figure out how to circumvent the Great Firewall). The list is a work in progress — please send suggestions for Twitter users to be added to the list to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, I must admit, tweets from the list have been pretty mundane (see below) — flight delays, flight arrivals, lunches at airports — but I’m sure those behind-the-scenes insights and astute cultural observations will start rolling in soon!
Again, here’s the list. Please send me suggestions so it can be as complete as possible.
1 One-day tickets are RMB 500 (US$75) for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and RMB 1,000 (US$150) for Saturday and Sunday. A pass for the whole week will run you RMB 2,000 (US$300). Ticket info is here. You can purchase tickets online here.
2 Here’s the official travel info. Traffic can be brutal between Sheshan and downtown Shanghai. Based on my past experience, Sunday morning is the quickest commute. There is a subway stop not far from the golf course. It will take you about an hour if you figure out the transfers correctly. It’s the Sheshan stop on Line 9.
3 According to ESPNStar.com, ESPN will be televising the event in the Philippines and Taiwan, but not in China and Hong Kong. Sky Sports and the Golf Channel will televise internationally. CCTV-5 should have live coverage all four days. This may also be of use.
This entry was cross-posted on Shanghaiist.
Finally in Shanghai. The upside of being delayed is that the driving is a little less scary at 11pm.
Arrived in Shanghai for WGC HSBC Champions. The event that ignited my career. one of the best tournaments in the world. Great field too!
After a 3 1/3 delay, 5 hour flight, & a 3 hour bus ride…we made it to the HSBC…almost the same time to fly from the US to Malaysia.lol
Just landed in China.
Now onboard the plane on the way to Shanghai so speak to you all in 14 & half hours.