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 […]

Read more

Well, five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson would sure like to see it happen: Thomson, who captained the International team to its only victory over the Americans in The Presidents Cup, believes the time is right for the biennial series to be played in China and is urging its government and golfing officials to launch […]

Read more

HSBC Champions: Golf still an elitist pursuit in China

This story originally appeared on ESPN.com.

washburnespngolf11122005-2.jpgby DAN WASHBURN

Sheshan International Golf Club, site of this week’s HSBC Champions tournament, is about an hour west of Shanghai — if you are lucky. The only way to get there from downtown is a start-and-stop ride along the Hu Ning “Expressway,” an overcrowded stretch of asphalt that cuts through a grim part of the city you won’t find mentioned in any tour book. Most spectators are bussed in and bussed out and never set foot outside the picturesque private grounds. And if you were part of that crowd on Thursday and Friday, it would be easy to draw this conclusion: China loves Tiger Woods.

In a nation of 1.3 billion, crowds are not hard to come by. But on a golf course? That’s something new in a country with only an estimated 200,000 people who play the sport, a country that didn’t have a golf course until 1984. The gallery following Woods for the tournament’s first two rounds easily topped 1,000. Some guessed it was closer to 2,000. That’s more than four times the number of fans who followed Ernie Els during the final round of the BMW Asian Open here in May.

Read more

HSBC Champions: Ian Poulter’s ‘funny looking pants’

This story originally appeared in the November 13, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN While the hordes were hovering behind Tiger Woods as he practiced at the driving range Saturday morning, Ian Poulter worked on his putting a couple dozen meters away. There was no crowd surrounding the […]

Read more

HSBC Champions: Tiger who?

This story originally appeared in the November 12, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN While some 2,000 golf fans weathered rainstorms to track every move of the world’s best golfer Friday in the second round of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, Yao Guang Mei swept leaves with […]

Read more

HSBC Champions: Hope lies on Hu’s slender shoulders

This story originally appeared in the November 11, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN The boy who has been dubbed the future of Chinese golf spends 11 months of the year in Florida, and he appears equally comfortable conducting interviews in English and Mandarin. Sixteen-year-old Hu Mu, the […]

Read more

ESPN.com’s package on golf in China

ESPN.com, the internet’s sports website of record, is running two stories I wrote about golf in China: • Golf in China grows bigger by the day • Chinese events bring interesting questions At the time of this posting, the package was ESPN.com’s featured story on the site’s main page. But that changes pretty often, so […]

Read more

China’s top golfer demands more domestic support

Zhang: Playing for PRC an “ordeal” Coverage of the BMW Asian Open, a professional golf tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour. A version of this story appeared in the May 1, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN SHANGHAI — China’s top-ranked golfer Zhang Lian […]

Read more

Els to fans: Put your phones on vibrate

Coverage of the BMW Asian Open, a professional golf tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour. A version of this story appeared in the April 30, 2005 edition of the South China Morning Post (subscription only). by DAN WASHBURN SHANGHAI — There are, by the most recent count, some 330 million mobile […]

Read more