BMW Masters Added to European Tour Calendar

April 23, 2012

Chinese-based BMW Masters has become part of the European Tour this year.

The event in which Rory McIlroy won the biggest first prize in golf in October, £1.24million, will again be hosted in Lake Malaren in Shanghai for the BMW Masters on October 25-28, with 78 players competing for £4.3million prize money.

“I am already looking forward to teeing off,” said McIlroy, who beat American Anthony Kim in a play-off last season.

“Thanks to the involvement of BMW (it was previously known as the Shanghai Masters) the tournament will now be one of the very best events in the world.

“That obviously makes it all the more exciting to defend my title there.”

Open champion Darren Clarke helped to launch the event during the Beijing Auto Show in the Chinese capital today, teeing off from the BMW exhibition stand using an exploding golden ball.

Clarke, en route to South Korea for this week’s Ballantine’s Championship, was the last man to win the BMW Asian Open in 2008.

The tournament will come the week before the WGC-HSBC Champions, which this year switched from Sheshan near Shanghai to Mission Hills in Shenzhen.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said: “We are proud of many partnerships we enjoy across the world of golf, but one of the most enduring is with BMW.

“This tournament represents the third title sponsorship on the tour in 2012 and the 45th in total over the past 23 years.

by Ismail Uddin