Tuesday, 27th September, 2016

Famous Five launch the Shenzhen International

Story published at 10:56, Wednesday, April 15th, 2015


Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

The inaugural Shenzhen International was launched with a ‘hit the gong’ and ‘nearest the pin’ challenge, featuring two-time Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson, European Tour winners Alex Levy and Matteo Manassero, and local heroes Liang Wen-chong and Li Hao-tong.

In warm sunshine and bright blue skies in Shenzhen, China, the high-quality quintet lined up along the banks of the lake beside the clubhouse at Genzon Golf Club and took turns to pepper the pin as the curtain was raised on this week’s US$2.5million event.

With the floating green proving somewhat unreceptive, the gong challenge was used as a tiebreaker and, after a series of near misses, Levy was declared the winner when his on-target effort was only deflected wide of the gong by the flag.

The Frenchman said: “It was a bit different but we had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it the most because I won! It’s a good start to the week, and hopefully I can have a good finish to the week too.”

Watson, who claimed the moral victory when he eventually struck the gong after several ‘overtime’ attempts, added: “If I had to, I would’ve stayed out there all day until I’d hit it – I wasn’t going to quit until I got the job done. Even if I’d run out of balls, I would’ve borrowed someone else’s! I’m just that kind of guy.”

Watson, Levy and Li, who plies his trade predominantly on the web.com Tour in America, have been drawn together over the first two days at Genzon GC.

Other notable groups include the pairing of Raphaël Jacquelin, making his 500th appearance on The European Tour this week, Chinese star Zhang Hui-lin and his compatriot Guan Tian-lang, who in 2013 became the youngest player in history to make the cut in the Masters.

The inaugural Shenzhen International was launched with a ‘hit the gong’ and ‘nearest the pin’ challenge, featuring two-time Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson, European Tour winners Alex Levy and Matteo Manassero, and local heroes Liang Wen-chong and Li Hao-tong.

European Tour www.europeantour.com

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