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Avid Golfathon players swing for Olympics

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-17 11:17

Avid Golfathon players swing for Olympics

Feng Shanshan tees off on the seventeenth hole in the second round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California, April 4, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

SHENZHEN - More than 5,000 golfers will take part in the 12th annual Golfathon at Mission Hills in China this year, one of the most-attended and influential amateur tournaments worldwide.

The unique summer-long tournament, held across Mission Hills' multiple courses in Shenzhen-Dongguan and Haikou, will culminate in a Grand Final with the winner receiving tickets to watch golf's return to the Olympics in Rio next year.

More Olympic tickets will be up for grabs in a lucky draw for Golfathon players while group winners will receive tickets to the Presidents Cup in South Korea this October.

"This year, Golfathon players are swinging for the Olympics," said the vice-chairman of Mission Hills Group, Tenniel Chu. "Proceeds from this tournament will be donated to an Olympics fund supporting the golfers who will represent China in Rio.

"Mission Hills' support for the Olympic movement in general and, in particular, golf's return to the Games is well documented and we are delighted to be enhancing this via our world famous Golfathon.

"This unique tournament offers players of all ages and abilities a fabulous incentive to play golf throughout the summer across our world class courses. Over the past 11 years, nearly 50,000 players from 40 countries and regions have taken part. This truly fulfils our vision to use golf to bring the world to China and to take China to the world."

Mission Hills Group's involvement in the Olympic movement dates back many years to when the company's late founder and chairman, Dr David Chu, acted as advisor in Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Games.

Since then, Mission Hills has become the training base for China's Olympic golf team, with players and coaches able to utilise the club's state-of-the-art practice facilities and world class accommodation.

The Golfathon, which includes categories for male and female players from juniors through to seniors, was first staged in 2004 to celebrate Mission Hills being officially accredited as the world's largest golf club by Guinness World Records.

Players in the Golfathon at Shenzhen-Dongguan will compete on 10 of the giant resort's 12 world class courses, all designed by legends of the game. Separately, participants at Mission Hills Haikou, located on the tropical island of Hainan, will play on all 10 courses there.

The top 30 players in the Haikou event will join their Shenzhen and Dongguan counterparts for the Golfathon Grand Final on the Leadbetter Course at Dongguan on October 30.

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