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Volvo China Open preview

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Last year's Ryder Cup heroes will compete in this week's European Tour tournament, the Volvo China Open, as it remains in Asia.

The likes of Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts will all head to the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen looking for ranking points that could prove crucial in September.

Stenson, the World number three, is the pre-tournament favourite and will hope to earn the winning prize of RMB 3.3million (£320,000).

The line-up also includes Pablo Larrazabal, who made headlines at last week's Malaysian Open. Larrazabal was attacked by a large swarm of hornets on the fifth hole before jumping into the water hazard to escape.

After drying himself off, the Spaniard birdied the hole. Larrazabal tweeted that it was "unreal" that the YouTube clip of him jumping into the lake has already reached two million hits.

Guan Tianlang is also in the field this week, one year after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at the US Masters - aged just 14 years and five months.

The event had been staged at the Binhai Lake Golf Club for the previous two years but has moved to the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen this time around.

The course opened in 1995 and was renovated in 2008 to become a 36-hole golf course with championship courses, a 5-star hotel and a high-end clubhouse. It was designed by Canadian Neil Haworth, and it's the first golf club in Asia to use the 'Platinum' green turf.

The course is 7,145 yards and with the par fives at 547, 536, 543 and 575 yards it gives the players a great chance for some birdie opportunities.

It will be the 20th staging of the Volvo China Open, with the past 19 winners coming from 13 different countries. England and Australia share the most winners between them with three each, after Australia's Brett Rumford won last year's event. 

Rumford won by four shots, beating Mikko Ilonen into second-place. The win represented Rumford's second tournament victory in just seven days, as he claimed the Ballantine’s Championship a week earlier.

Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts earned a share of second in last week's Malaysian Open, trailing winner Lee Westwood by seven shots. The 31-year old has a good record in China after winning his first tournament there, as well as both his European Tour victories to-date.

Both of those European Tour victories came in Volvo-sponsored events, a fact he is very aware of.

“It’s pretty difficult for me not to feel the Volvo vibes,” he told reporters. “I have done well in their events and they always put on a pretty good show and look after the players really well.

“They are definitely up there with our biggest supporters and to have a history of doing well in their events always gives you a little boost heading into a Volvo tournament. All of those things are part of feeling so at home over here.”

We'll see if the sponsorship dream continues for the Swedish car giant later in the week with Colsaerts a likely contender.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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