HAIKOU, China, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What happens when you combine golf's world no. 1 with his heir apparent, the heir apparent's heir apparent, solar-powered golf carts, 15,000 acres of lava fields, tropical climes, 120 junior golfers, 20,000 spectators, a bit of Chinese numerology and healthy dose of dragons, tigers and snakes? You get The Match at Mission Hills, contested here on Monday at Mission Hills Resort Haikou and won by Rory McIlroy by a stroke over Tiger Woods, 67-68.
The Match itself was the main event but only a portion of the spectacle.
Indeed, The Match at Mission Hills did more than bring together golf's two most compelling personalities in head-to-head competition. The inclusion of Guan Tianlang, the Chinese amateur phenom who famously made the cut at this year's Masters, brought together at Mission Hills three separate generations of golfers, each representing not just a different demographic but the three main epicenters of world golf.
- Tiger Woods is nearly 40 years old and North American, with 14 Majors under his belt.
- Rory McIlroy is his Irish heir apparent, just 24 and representing the European sphere.
- Guan Tianlang is fully 10 years younger than Rory and represents not just the next generation of competitive golfer, but an all new source of talent: Asia, in general, and China in particular.
The inter-generational aspect was not lost on Woods nor McIlroy.
"In the last 12, 13 years, I've seen the growth and development of these junior golfers, and Guan making it to the Masters at age 14 just goes to show you what's going to happen - and what's going to come down the pipeline the next 15, 20 years," Woods said during his post match press conference. "It's going to be quite amazing to see."
McIlroy saw another relevant factor that will affect player development in Asia and everywhere else: "I think the inclusion of golf in the Olympics is a great thing. You are going to see a lot of new people and new countries and junior golfers come into golf because it's an Olympic sport. It's great for the growth of the game."
The Mission Hills Group is owned and administered by two brothers, Chairman Ken Chu and Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu. Ken Chu was asked during the post-Match press conference what he made of the spectacle.
"Have you seen the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? It's a very popular Chinese movie," Chu said, turning to Woods. "Your name is Tiger, I was born in the year of Tiger, so we're Tigers.
"And then Rory, you're born in the year of the snake, so snake in Chinese is also known as the dragon -and Tenniel was born in the year of the dragon. So that's where we have something in common. It's the crouching Tiger and flying Dragon."
Ken Chu also noted that it's been 12 years since Tiger's last visit to Mission Hills, which was Woods' first-ever visit to China invited by Mission Hills' late founder, Dr. David Chu.
"Twelve is a very meaningful, very special number to Chinese," he explained. "There's 12 hours in a clock, 12 months in a year, 12 zodiacs, 12 animals in the Chinese calendar year, as well. So 12, it's a complete circle. We are very proud, very honored to play host to your very first visit to China, and after 12 years, also playing host to your first visit to Hainan Island. So it's a wonderful relationship that we have had, created, and thank you for all your support of China golf development. We appreciate it."
About Mission Hills Group
Mission Hills Group (www.missionhillschina.com), owner and operator of Mission Hills in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and the tropical island of Hainan, is the pioneer in China's fledgling hospitality, sports and leisure industry.
Founded in 1992, Mission Hills is recognized as the leading golf brand in the world and synonymous with high-end, luxurious and exquisitely-designed residences. Mission Hills has been the major driving force behind the sports and leisure industry in China. Its three world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations have hosted more than 100 international tournaments. Mission Hills has also been accredited the "World's Largest Golf Club" by the Guinness World Records.
Mission Hills' properties sprawl over 40 sq.km. They include 22 championship courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, an international convention center, golf academies and Asia's largest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters of China's Tennis and Golf Associations.
The Group's "golf and more" leisure philosophy has catalyzed its tourism-related business expansion. Mission Hills Centreville and Mission Hills - Lan Kwai Fong - Haikou are family-friendly metropolitan leisure complexes and low-carbon town centers. Hubs for business, leisure, wellness and entertainment, their highlights include 1,000-plus international anchor brands featuring the latest fashion labels, finest jewelry and watches; trendiest restaurants, cafes and bars; state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas; ice skating rinks; bowling alleys; world-renowned auto showrooms; and many other exciting offerings. A total of six hotels are showcased in these developments, among them are the Marriott International's Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotel brands, and Hilton International.
Today, Mission Hills Group has achieved many milestones and become the preeminent conglomerate in the sports, tourism, leisure and entertainment industry. The next breakthrough in the Group's evolution will occur as it brings its tried and true branding and golf management services to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Yunnan, Chongqing and other destinations.
SOURCE Mission Hills China