World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions

World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions

We are incredibly proud of the WGC-HSBC Champions, our flagship event located in our historic home of Shanghai and a prime example of how we’ve worked with our partners to support the growth of golf all over the world.

The four World Golf Championship events are the most prestigious in golf, outside of the four major championships. Following a meeting of golf's five world governing bodies (European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour), the World Golf Championships were developed to enhance the competitive structure of professional golf worldwide while preserving the traditions and strengths of the individual Tours and their events.

When we first brought HSBC Champions to Shanghai in 2005, golf in Asia was in its infancy. China itself had a limited number of golf fans, no playing heritage and no significant event.

Today, the greatest golfers in the world appear in ‘Asia’s Major’ every year. They play in front of huge crowds of Chinese fans in love with the game. Several Chinese players are challenging at the very highest levels of golf, with the likes of Haotong Li regularly challenging for Major Championships. Through our partnership with the World Golf Championships, golf in Asia has gone from strength to strength, and the WGC-HSBC Champions remains the crucial catalyst for golf in the region to live up to it’s potential.

The local fans certainly witnessed an impressive spectacle this year, with Xander Shauffele claiming the biggest title of his short career by beating Tony Finau at the first hole of a sudden death playoff. It was his first victory since winning twice in his 2017 rookie year on the PGA Tour securing a first prize of $1.7m and the coveted Old Tom Morris Cup.

With the best players in the world continuing to flock to Shanghai, and golf in the region growing at a rapid rate, WGC-HSBC Champions is set to continue to serve as the flagship example of our role supporting golf all over the world.

For more details on HSBC Champions, please visit www.hsbcgolf.com

Video Highlights

News

Tournament Launches Innovative WGC-HSBC Champions Mini Game

First digital platform to collaborate with the World Golf Championship portfolio partners WGC-HSBC Champions to launch bespoke game ahead of 2019 edition

Shanghai, 6 September, 2019 – WeChat, the most popular communication platform in China, has announced a new partnership initiative with the WGC-HSBC Champions to launch a bespoke Mini Game ahead of the 2019 tournament. The newly launched Mini Game aims to introduce golf to a broader audience using innovative digital technologies.

WeChat, joined as an Official Partner of the tournament known as ‘Asia’s Major’ in 2018 and was notably the first digital platform to collaborate with a World Golf Championship event.

WGC-HSBC CHAMPTIONS

The WeChat Mini Game is designed to be simple and intuitive for both a golfing and non-golfing audience, capitalising on the growing global trend of mobile gaming and the social media platform’s popular game function. The game incorporates social elements such as competing with friends and other spectators and aims to showcase golf and strengthen connections between participating fans.

The Mini Game will feature four seasons, each of two weeks, with the winners of each season receiving an invitation to compete at the Grand Finals held on-site at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China during the tournament week. Top scorers in each season also stand to win a range of prizes from tournament sponsors such as Descente apparel, WeChat merchandise, Mercedes-Benz gifts, Nei Can Baijiu prizes, VOSS Water redemption vouchers and TaylorMade golf products.

WeChat have become a major sponsor of golf in recent years supporting many Chinese male and female professional golfers with two-time European Tour winner Li Haotong, leading the pack at this year’s tournament. To further commemorate the 15th anniversary of WGC-HSBC Champions, Mini Game players can unlock a special character in Li Haotong when they score 15 points or more.

Highest Score 20

A specially created ‘WeChat Mini-Program’ launched last year, as a custom-made application to enhance the spectator experience allowing fans to gain access to real time tournament information and scores, will also benefit from upgraded technologies at next month’s event. WeChat Pay will once again be available throughout the Spectator Village having enriched the digital and onsite experience for spectators last year.

Commenting on the partnership, WeChat said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with an event as world renowned as the WGC-HSBC Champions and look to build even stronger connections with this new innovative WeChat Mini Game. We believe this will be a catalyst for growing our international exposure as well as being of great interest to our core audience in China. We grow our efforts within golf because we think it is an excellent platform to promote our brand and generate engaging content for our audience. WeChat remains committed to utilising the spirit of sport in forging connections, facilitating communication and building an ecosystem for information exchange whilst staying true to its ethos of embracing openness.”

Jonathan Castleman, HSBC’s Global Head of Brand Partnerships, said: This is a hugely exciting partnership that has the potential to take WGC-HSBC Champions and golf to an entirely new and diverse audience across China. When HSBC first brought world class golf to China, our sponsorship of the event came from a desire to open up the game to more people. Fifteen years later and with our flagship tournament firmly established as ‘Asia’s Major’ our ambition to grow and reach new fans still holds true. In response to modern lifestyle, golf continues to evolve and we are proud to support any innovative first that can make golf, in any format whether on a course or online, more accessible and enjoyable for all.”

WeChat is a mobile communications platform available internationally, providing users the chance to engage in real time with multiple functionalities including instant messaging, photo sharing and games through an easy to use app. In China, WeChat is home to integrated services, including paying bills, hailing rides and making reservations.

Francesco Molinari and Li Haotong are Latest Stars to Commit to 2019 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions

Stars join Schauffele, Koepka, Johnson, McIlroy and Rose at Sheshan for ‘Asia’s Major’
8th August 2019

Italian star Francesco Molinari and home favourite Li Haotong are the latest stars to commit to the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions alongside reigning champion, Xander Schauffele and the world’s top four ranked players; Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

World ranked No.6 Molinari won the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2010 and the Open Championship in 2018, while China’s Li Haotong, a two-time winner on the European Tour, will be looking to improve on his seventh place highest finish to date at’ Asia’s Major’ which takes place from October 31 to November 3, 2019 at Sheshan International Golf Club.

As HSBC approach the 15th year of their award-winning title sponsorship of Asia’s biggest tournament, tickets have seen strong demand from fans while support sponsorship sales are also exceptionally strong as everyone wants to be a part of what is anticipated to be one of the best fields ever gathered as the players compete for an increased prize fund of US10.25 million.

New apparel sponsor Descente, Official Liquor Nei Can and VOSS as the Official Water are the newest sponsors joining a notable group of premium brands that include; WeChat, Mercedes Benz, iQiyi Sports, Dell Technologies and The Yuluxe Sheshan, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel.



Italy’s first major winner, Molinari said: “With all of the Majors now over for the year, we are turning our attention to the final World Golf Championships of the year. The scheduling changes on the PGA Tour certainly have benefited the stature of the WGC-HSBC Champions and I think it is going to be a huge event for all the players as we aim to end our year on a high with a victory at ‘Asia’s Major.”

Li Haotong, making his seventh appearance in the tournament, said: “The buzz around this tournament is already pretty crazy in China. With five of the world’s top six players already confirmed, it will be one of the must attend events of the year in Shanghai. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”



Jonathan Castleman, HSBC’s Global Head of Brand Partnerships, said:

“With another major winner confirmed in Francesco Molinari and homegrown star Li Haotong joining the all-star cast of the world’s best golfers, we already have the perfect ingredients for the tournament to live up to its billing as ‘Asia’s Major. Once again, we know the eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Shanghai come October.

WGC-HSBC Champions has gained an unrivalled reputation by assembling elite fields and delivering incredible experiences for all, there is simply nothing like it in Asian golf. This tournament has been a catalyst for so many exciting developments for golf in China at all levels and we look forward to that journey continuing.”

Getting To Know Our Golfers: Xander Schauffele

The surname “Schauffele” made for a bit of a kerfuffle when Xander Schauffele, the defending champion in the forthcoming WGC-HSBC Champions, first appeared on the scene. It wasn’t easy to spell and it wasn’t easy to pronounce.

Yet even if the name did not exactly trip from people’s tongues to the same extent as that, say, of a Woods, a Rose, a McIlroy, a Wie or a Feng, Xander’s background was soon proving the best of assets. Since his American-based family includes a father who is half German and half French, and a mother who was born in Chinese Taipei and lived in Japan, he has little by little been picking up on a correspondingly cosmopolitan fan-base.

The process picked up steam last year at Sheshan where, when he was asked if he thought that his “part-Chinese heritage” would have added to his flourishing band of Chinese supporters, he had nodded appreciatively at the very suggestion. At the same time, he had mentioned how much it meant to have his parents on the trip. For instance, Ping Yi, his mother, had made her 25-year-old son – it was his birthday that week – feel doubly comfortable by successfully negotiating the language barrier: “It made things easy for me because she was doing everything from ordering food to asking for transportation.”

His father Stefan, meantime, has never been less than integral to his overall career. In a father-son relationship to mirror that of such as Rose, with his father, Ken, and McIlroy, with his father Gerry, Stefan has poured his all into Xander’s golf.



Many years before, Stefan had had to leave behind his dream of becoming a German Olympiad after a head-on crash resulted in five operations and a warning that he should give up on the javelin-throwing at which he excelled. He changed from athletics to golf and from Germany to America where he gained professional qualifications at the San Diego Golf Academy. He started teaching Xander when he was ten and, to this day, he remains his son’s lead coach.

There has been the odd father-son spat along the way, most notably when Stefan, in having a spell on the bag, sometimes found it difficult to stay within the usual unwritten guidelines of never looking too up or too down. Hardly surprisingly, there came a day when a paternal response to a bad shot – it was along the lines of, ‘That’s idiotic!” – prompted a temporary rift. Yet through thick and thin, Xander has never ceased to be grateful to his dad’s help and his oft-repeated reminder that he should be grateful for his golfing talents and remember how, as had happened to him, “it can all be taken away in a day”.

The “Getting to know you” phase of Xander’s professional career began at the US Open of 2017 where he started with a 66 on his way to a share of fifth place.



That hard-to-grasp surname may well have contributed to how the crowds did not immediately flock to his side the following day, though it did furnish Xander with the humorous tale of how such supporters as he had went missing the moment that Rose, McIlroy and Jason Day appeared on a neighbouring fairway. To his chagrin, the spectators in question had not so much as paused to applaud his long shot to the green.

“I said to myself, ‘Man, that wasn’t a bad shot, so why isn’t anyone clapping?’” He was still pondering on why his ball would have spun from the green when he spotted that it had in fact come to a halt within seven feet of the pin.

The headlines started a few weeks later after he won at the Greenbrier – and multiplied when, after making off with the end-of-season PGA Tour championship, he collected Rookie of the Year honours.

Next up for Xander was his triumph in the WGC-HSBC Champions – a major step in the right direction. The result did not sink in straightaway, just as it had taken a few moments for him to get to grips with how his two-birdie finish to tie Tony Finau after 72 holes meant a play-off.



For the latter, he poured all his nervous energy into a tee-shot which bisected the fairway as Finau’s ball found sand and cost him a bogey to what was Xander’s third birdie in a row.

Finau could not have been more generous in defeat. “Xander played incredible golf today. He posted a number (a 68) and made a birdie on the play-off hole when it counted. Hats off to him!”

That Xander, a social science graduate of San Diego State, is expected to keep his feet firmly on the ground amid his mounting success, will come as no surprise to those who heard what he had to say at his Rookie of the Year presentation. At the time, he was still driving around in a battered Toyota while his college friend-cum-caddie, Austin Kaiser, had graduated to something a little more flash.

“I’m an old soul,” he explained Schauffele. “I haven’t purchased anything crazy. I used to want things but now that we’re sitting here with some success, it doesn’t seem that important.”

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