Four of the World's Top Nine Golfers Confirmed for Beijing

Mar 09, 2005, 00:00 ET from JOHNNIE WALKER

    BEIJING, March 9 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- RETIEF GOOSEN, the two-time US
 Open Champion ranked #5 in the world, has confirmed his entry for the 2005
 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC.  Joining him in the star-studded event will be three
 "young guns" of golf; world #9 ADAM SCOTT, #18 LUKE DONALD, and his Ryder Cup
 team mate, PAUL CASEY.
     -- Retief Goosen
     -- Luke Donald
     -- Paul Casey
     -- Adam Scott
     Presented by JOHNNIE WALKER, the world's leading Scotch whisky, the
 GBP1.25 million (US$2.35m) JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC is Asia's premier golf event
 and is being played in mainland China for the first time in the event's
 history.  It will take place at Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club in
 Beijing, April 21-24.
     World #5 RETIEF GOOSEN, from South Africa, turned pro in 1990 and went on
 to achieve 24 victories worldwide including the US Open Championship in 2001
 and 2004.  In 2004 Retief finished 6th on the US PGA Money List with prize
 money of nearly US$4 million.  This will be Retief's sixth JOHNNIE WALKER
 CLASSIC having won in Australia in 2002.
     24-year old ADAM SCOTT from Australia turned pro in 2000 and ended up his
 first year in remarkable 13th spot on the European Money List.  Now
 concentrating more on the USPGA Tour, Adam has won four events and has a
 current world ranking of 9.
     LUKE DONALD was born in England 27 years ago, but now lives in Chicago,
 USA.   He turned pro four years ago, after an outstanding amateur career.  In
 the short time he has been a pro he has won three times.  He played a key role
 in Europe's victory in the 2004 Ryder Cup and clearly established himself as a
 star of the future, currently ranked 18 in the world.
     England's PAUL CASEY, also 27, turned pro in 2000.  As an amateur, he is
 one of only three players in 77 years to record four victories without a
 defeat in the Walker Cup and in the US, won back-to-back PAC-10 Championships,
 breaking the scoring record held by Tiger Woods.  In his first year as a pro,
 he won the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship.  Since then, he has won two
 further European Tour events.   Paul is currently ranked 43 in the world.
     These four join a field that features, to date, four of the world's top
 nine players and is already shaping up to be the strongest ever played in
 China: world #3 ERNIE ELS; #6 SERGIO GARCIA; defending champion MIGUEL ANGEL
 JIMENEZ; six-time major winner NICK FALDO; and world #29 Korean K.J. CHOI.
     Commenting on the outstanding field for the 2005 event, the Global Brand
 Director for JOHNNIE WALKER, Ben Anderson said: "We warmly welcome back our
 2002 Champion, Retief Goosen and three "young guns" to our tournament. I'm
 confident the 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC will fuel the fast growth of golf in
     The JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC is jointly owned by JOHNNIE WALKER and IMG and
 is sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian Tours and by the China
 Golf Association.  JOHNNIE WALKER is the world's leading deluxe Scotch whisky
 and IMG is the world's premier sports, lifestyle management and marketing firm.
     All four days action from Pine Valley will be broadcast live on CCTV5 in
 China, and in major markets around the world.  More information is available
 on .
     For further enquiries, please contact Burson-Marsteller at:
      Polka Yu - Beijing
      Tel:    +86-10-6505-6363 ext. 224
      Fax:    +86-10-6505-6380
      Mobile: +86-13552481824
      Holly Hu - Shanghai
      Tel:    +86-21-5406-2121 ext. 171
      Fax:    +86-21-5403-8583
      Mobile: +86-13761683747