August 8, 2018

Gary Player-designed Jinji Lake Golf Club to host its first-ever Tour event

SUZHOU, JIANGSU, CHINA—Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, Jinji Lake Golf Club in Jiangsu province will stage a PGA TOUR Series-China event for the first time when it hosts the Suzhou Open, the 10th event on this year’s Tour and the first international golf event to take place in Suzhou since the 2010 Volvo China Open.

Jinji Lake Golf Club, located 100 kilometres northwest of Shanghai between Jinji Lake and Dushu Lake, will host the Suzhou Open from August 29-September 2 in Suzhou, which was named the ‘world’s fastest growing city’ by The Telegraph in 2017.

The following week, Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club will host the Qinhuangdao Championship in Hebei province from September 6-9, with all 14 events this year offering RMB 1.5 million, a 25-percent increase over purse levels from 2014 to 2016. The final three events of the season will be announced in the coming weeks.

The top-five on this year’s Order of Merit will earn status on the 2019 Web.com Tour, the path to the PGA TOUR. Haotong Li, the first Chinese to break in to the world’s top-50, and current PGA TOUR players Zecheng Dou and Xinjun Zhang are among graduates from the Tour.

Greg Carlson, Executive Director, PGA TOUR Series-China, said: “We’re excited to continue our season with the Suzhou Open at Jinji Lake Golf Club. We’ve never played here and this will be our first visit to Jinji Lake. The players are going to love this course and the five-star facilities that this place offers.”

“The fact we’re in such a booming and fast-growing city is also very appealing,” Carlson continued. “Suzhou is a terrific city, and Jinji Lake is a terrific course that has won many prestigious awards. The facilities are tremendous and this will be an important event for players hoping to step up in their quest to make it to the Web.com Tour, so I am excited to see the reaction from the players when they see the conditions here.”

Jinji Lake features 27 holes across three nines – ‘Forest Course’, ‘Wetlands Course’ and ‘Links Course’ – all designed by Gary Player. The Suzhou Open will be a 72-par event played over the Forest and ‘more difficult’ Links nines for a 7,326-yard layout.

Dawei Li, General Manager, Jinji Lake Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to cooperate with the PGA TOUR and Shankai Golf to launch the first edition of the Suzhou Open. The PGA TOUR is a famous international sports organization with great branding power so it has been great to work with PGA TOUR Series-China and make the preparations ahead of the Suzhou Open.

“Our goal is to provide the best competition course conditions for all players who are coming from all around the world and to attract good crowds to come and watch the game. Thanks to the Suzhou Government, Suzhou Industrial Park and the Suzhou Golf Association for their support and we are positive the event will be a great success.”

The PGA TOUR established PGA TOUR Series-China in 2014 as its third international developmental tour, following in the footsteps of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Since its inception, PGA TOUR Series-China players have received Official World Golf Ranking points for top finishes at official tournaments.