I told you a PR offensive was forthcoming. Here’s the latest from the AFP:

Movie stars Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey will headline a bevy of celebrities taking part in a new tournament in China that will offer the richest individual prize in Asian golf.

The Hollywood A-listers will play in the pro-am at the Mission Hills Star Trophy on Hainan Island in October, ahead of the tournament proper that will feature 20 men and women golfers with a 1.28-million-US-dollar winner-takes-all prize.

Two-time Major winner Greg Norman, China’s multiple Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Li Ning and Japan’s top comedian and talk show host Akashiya Sanma will serve as ambassadors for the pro-am event, organisers said.

Norman and China’s golfing trailblazer, Zhang Liangwei, will play for the top prize, along with 2010 Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin.

The professional field will also include two of the game’s biggest female superstars, Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak.


In other Hainan golf news, Xinhua ran a story today headlined “Hainan aims to be China’s golf capital.” The short item, filed from the Boao International Tourism Forum, is noteworthy for this quote:

China encourages well-planned environment-friendly development of golf tourism, especially in Hainan, the country’s only tropical island province,” said Du Jiang, deputy head of the National Tourism Administration.

Emphasis mine. The Chinese government really needs to get its story straight.

UPDATE: Mission Hills now acknowledges Mission Hills Hainan on its website. Limitless prestige.