SHANGHAI, Feb. 22 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Three more top international
golfers, world number six Sergio Garcia, Korean number one Choi Kyoung-ju and
China's leading player Zhang Lian-wei, have confirmed their participation at
this year's US$2.35 million JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC at the prestigious Pine
Valley Golf Resort and Country Club in Beijing from April 21 to 24.
-- Choi Kyoung-ju (KJ)
-- Sergio Garcia
-- Zhang Lian-wei
The tournament presented by JOHNNIE WALKER, the world's leading Scotch
whisky, is Asia's richest professional golf event, and has already attracted
three star golfers; World Number 3, South Africa's Ernie Els, six-time major
winner Nick Faldo, and this year's defending champion, Miguel Angel Jimenez,
ranked 14 in the world.
"We are excited to welcome three more of the most inspiring names in golf
to our tournament," commented Ben Anderson, Global Brand Director for JOHNNIE
WALKER. "We salute these three players for their determination to "Keep
Walking," and succeed at the top of their game and we look forward to enjoying
what will be undoubtedly some of the best golf to be played in Asia this
Spanish superstar Garcia, born in Castellon just 25 years ago will
spearhead the battle for the US$396,000 winners cheque. Nicknamed 'El Nino,'
Garcia started playing golf when only three years old, copying his father
Victor, the local club-pro, who still coaches him to this day.
He turned professional in 1999 after playing in 28 professional
tournaments while still an amateur. He won the British Amateur Championship
in 1998, a victory that qualified him for the US Masters.
Since those heady amateur days, Sergio has won five tournaments on the US
PGA Tour, five in Europe and four more around the world. He is one of the
best known and popular players around the world, and although always smiling,
he is extremely competitive having played on three Ryder Cup teams.
Joining Garcia will be Korea's Choi Kyoung-ju, known around the world as
KJ. Ranked 28th in the world, KJ turned pro in 1994 and became the first
Korean golfer to qualify for the US PGA Tour. He has since won twice in the
US, once in Europe and once on the Asian Tour.
However KJ's hallmark is his consistency, achieving seven top-10 finishes
last year, including a memorable third place in the US Masters, which helped
him win over US$2 million, to finish the year in 26th spot on the US Tour
Born in Shenzhen, 39-year-old Zhang Lian-wei trained as a javelin thrower
before turning to golf and becoming China's most successful golfer. He won
the China Amateur Championship three times before turning professional in 1994.
Zhang started the 2003 season in stunning fashion when he beat Els to win
the Caltex Masters in Singapore. Last year, Zhang became the first Chinese
player to be invited to the prestigious US Masters and to make the cut in a US
PGA Tour event, at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
The JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC is jointly owned and proudly presented by
JOHNNIE WALKER and IMG and is jointly sanctioned by the European, Asian and
Australasian Tours and by the China Golf Association.
Holly Hu - Shanghai
SOURCE JOHNNIE WALKER