China Attracts the Stars of Golf

Dec 16, 2004, 00:00 ET from JOHNNIE WALKER

    BEIJING, China, Dec. 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER
 CLASSIC, to be held in Beijing, China, has already attracted three top stars
 of international golf; South African Ernie Els, England's Nick Faldo and
 defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain.
     Presented by JOHNNIE WALKER, the world's leading Scotch whisky, the
 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC is Asia Pacific's premier golf event and will be taking
 place at the prestigious Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club in Beijing
 on April 21-24.
     Ernie Els, ranked No. 3 in the world will be playing in Beijing for the
 very first time when he competes in the 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC.
     Els has had a year most of his fellow professional golfers would die for.
 With five Tournament wins around the world, including the HSBC World Match
 Play Championship for a record sixth time, he finished the year on top of the
 Volvo Order of Merit, the European Money List and in third place on the US
 Tour Money List with total worldwide winnings of over US$7 million.
     The Pine Valley Course, designed by his friend Jack Nicklaus, will suit
 Ernie's game and one thing is certain, he'll be aiming to become the first
 player ever to win the prestigious JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC title a record three
 times having won the title in 1997 and 2003.
     Joining Els will be six-time major winner Nick Faldo, England's most
 successful golfer.  Faldo has won the US Masters three times, in 1987, 1990
 and 1992.  The popular Englishman was also the winner of the very first
 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC at the Hong Kong Golf Club in 1990, a feat he repeated
 in 1993 at the Singapore Island Country Club.  Nick has a total of 42
 tournament wins around the world and most recently won the ADT Golf Skills
 Challenge in West Palm Beach, Florida USA.
     Els and Faldo will be joined by European Ryder Cup star, Miguel Angel
 Jimenez.  The colourful Spaniard won the 2004 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC in a
 thrilling final round at Bangkok's Alpine Golf and Sports Club last February,
 snatching victory in the closing holes from Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.
     Jimenez's JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC victory was to be the first of four wins
 on the 2004 European Tour for the pony-tailed Spaniard that cemented his place
 on the victorious European Ryder Cup Team and helped him secure 4th place on
 the 2004 Volvo Order of Merit.  After the 2005 European Tour season got
 underway in November, Jimenez immediately struck form by winning the Omega
 Hong Kong Open and in so doing, rocketed his World Ranking to a career high of
     These three golfing superstars are the first of a galaxy of star players
 scheduled to take their places in the 156-player field competing for record
 prize money of GBP1,250,000 at Pine Valley when the JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC
 will be played in mainland China for the first time in the event's 14 year
     Commenting on the entry of these world-class players, the Global Brand
 Director for JOHNNIE WALKER, Ben Anderson said, "Els, Faldo and Jimenez are
 all truly inspirational golfers and sportsmen. They each embody the philosophy
 at the heart of the JOHNNIE WALKER brand and inspire each of us to "Keep
 Walking", to take the next step on our own journeys, regardless of the success
 we enjoy or the challenges we face."
     The 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC will be jointly sanctioned by the
 European, Asian and Australasian Tours and by the China Golf Association.
     To learn more about the 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC, please contact
 Burson-Marsteller at:
      Derek Ng
      Burson-Marsteller Singapore
      Tel:   +65-6331-5246
      Fax:   +65-6339-3313