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Hanson and McIlroy back for more

Updated: 2013-08-10 08:35
By China Daily ( China Daily)

Defending champion Peter Hanson of Sweden and world No 3 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will again battle for the BMW Masters title from Oct 24-27 at Lake Malaren Golf Course in Shanghai.

The pair finished 1-2 in last year's tournament, prompting Hanson to declare it the most important victory of his career.

"Overcoming Rory McIlroy, one of the best golfers in the world, gave me an enormous confidence boost," said Hanson.

"I know Rory is coming back this year and, like last year, he will be the crowd favorite.

"Rory knows the course at Lake Malaren and it will be a great challenge to win again. But I am going back with confidence as the defending champion."

As the 2011 Shanghai Masters winner and world No 1 at the time, high hopes were placed on McIlroy at last year's event, but he missed out by one stroke.

"Two years ago I was the winner at Lake Malaren; last year I came short to force a playoff with Peter," said McIlroy.

"I look forward to returning to Shanghai in October and if I play at my best I might have the chance to take back the title."

Since the start of the year, the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Championship winner hasn't been at his best.

But what can't be ignored is that last year McIlroy also went through a similar dip in form before grabbing a stunning eight-stroke victory at Kiawah Island to notch his second major.

He then went on to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, the BMW Championship and the DP World Tour Championship, becoming the second ever player to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles in the same year.

With the BMW Masters now part of The Finals Series for the Race to Dubai, there's added incentive for him to return to form.

"I would love to win every time I tee it up, there is no doubt about that," said McIlroy.

"With the BMW Masters being one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour, I'm going to go all out for victory to take back my Shanghai crown."

(China Daily 08/10/2013 page16)