Sports / Golf

Ryder Cup reunion at BMW Masters in Shanghai

By China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-17 07:20

The team spirit that recently brought Europe its eighth victory in 10 Ryder Cup matches at Gleneagles will be put on hold when the stars of the show set off in pursuit of the BMW Masters title at Lake Malaren, Shanghai, from Oct 28-Nov 2.

In what will be the opening event of the European Tour's Final Series - four events culminating in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai - nine players from Europe's all-conquering team will line up alongside the mastermind of their triumph, captain Paul McGinley, and two of his vice-captains, Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

As world No 1 and the winner of two major championships this year, Rory McIlroy might be the most high-profile player in the field but his Ryder Cup teammates Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Thomas Bjorn, Ian Poulter, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson will each be looking to claim bragging rights.

 Ryder Cup reunion at BMW Masters in Shanghai

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off during the Ryder Cup's morning fourballs on Sept 27 at Gleneagles, Scotland. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Former US Open champion McDowell, who won all three of his matches at Glen-eagles and was given the key role of leading the team off in the singles, said he can't wait to get to Shanghai.

"The Final Series has really turned into an exciting end to the European Tour season and the BMW Masters is a massive event to kick it off," said the Northern Irishman.

"Ever since BMW took over the event three years ago, this part of the season has really evolved. They have done a fantastic job. The European Tour has restructured the end of season to have four big events in a row and there is no better place to start than at Lake Malaren."

McDowell's best finish at the BMW Masters was 11th in 2012.

"It's a course that suits the big hitters but if you can hit it long and straight you're going to do well," he said. "And as we saw last year, the conditions can be very tricky, with strong winds making it a real challenge."

And what does he make of BMW's involvement in the game?

"I've been playing professional golf for over 10 years and BMW has always been a huge supporter of the game during that period. Some of our biggest events, be it in Europe, Asia or the US, are sponsored by BMW and they are always great hosts.

"Personally, I'm a big fan of the BMW brand. I love driving their cars and am proud to be one of their global ambassadors."

McGinley echoed those sentiments.

"We are very lucky to have such a wonderful supporter," he said. "But not just that, such a premium brand associated with the Europe Ryder Cup team and the European Tour in general. It has been a long-standing relationship with BMW.

"They support the game not just in Europe, but in Asia and the United States as well. BMW is a quality brand with quality commitment. They have a huge financial commitment with golf and it shows."

(China Daily 10/17/2014 page23)

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