The European Tour heads to Shanghai this week for the BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Pudong Golf Club. Last year, Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed his third victory of the year at this event. Jimenez is joined by World Number Three Ernie Els and other members of last year's victorious European Ryder cup squad.
At this event last year, The European Tour made its first visit to China. Since then, the Tour has sanctioned other events there and the BMW Asian Open is the fourth tournament in China this year.
Jimenez, in addition to defending his title, is looking to win his second tournament of the year. His first victory came at the start of the season at the Omega Hong Kong Open. Els is looking for his third victory of the year after winning back-to-back tournaments in Dubai and Qatar.
Also in the field is China's top ranked golfer Zhang Lian-Wei, Nick Faldo and four members of last year's European Ryder Cup team, Colin Montgomerie, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, and Paul McGinley. Monty is looking to crack the world top 50 so he can get an automatic berth in the US Open.
Both Casey and Donald have enjoyed success early in the 2005 season, joining to win the World Golf Championship for England. Casey has been struggling since putting his foot in his mouth earlier in the year, but has already claimed a title this year in China, winning the TCL Classic in March.
Donald is looking to continue his hot play after finishing second at the Players Championship and tying for third at the Masters. He's looking to add his third career title on the European Tour International Schedule that includes the 2004 Scandinavian Masters and Omega European Masters.
Casey has already enjoyed success in China this year having won the TCL Classic last month while Donald, runner-up in the Players Championship on the US PGA Tour and third in his Masters Tournament debut at Augusta National, will be chasing a third title on The European Tour International Schedule.
The BMW Asian Open is the first of three BMW sponsored tournaments, preceding the BMW Championship at Wentworth Club from May 26-29 and the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenreid from August 25-28.
Television Coverage will be on the Golf Channel as follows:
Thursday 4/28 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC Friday 4/29 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC Saturday 4/30 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC Sunday 5/1 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET TGC