Automobile manufacturer becomes Series’ Official Automobile
BEIJING, China—PGA TOUR Series-China announced that Mercedes-Benz has agreed to become the Series’ Official Automobile. Mercedes-Benz will display its Dream Cars models and V-Class sedans at PGA TOUR Series-China events, where the luxurious, spacious V-Class sedans will be available to players and fans for test drives.
Mercedes-Benz will begin its PGA TOUR Series-China activation at the Kunming Championship, the Tour’s sixth event of the 2018 season, a tournament set for Yulongwan Golf Club in Yunnan province June 14-17.
The new partnership is part of the long-term commitment of Mercedes-Benz to help develop golf in China and globally. The German car manufacturer sponsors world-class PGA TOUR tournaments, including the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, the Masters Tournament, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship—as well as the annual MercedesTrophy which was formally introduced into China in 2003. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz founded the Star of the Future junior golf training camp, which has developed into one of China’s leading youth programmes.
Mercedes-Benz has a strong history of supporting great golfers including Chinese pioneer Wenchong Liang and rising star Haotong Li, a former PGA TOUR Series-China player and the country’s top-ranked golfer. Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors from the PGA TOUR include American Rickie Fowler and Spain’s Jon Rahm, while others include Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and German icons Marcel Siem and Bernhard Langer.
“The PGA TOUR is thrilled to sign Mercedes-Benz as a partner of the PGA TOUR Series-China. We recognize both the PGA TOUR and Mercedes-Benz as world-class brands, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be associated together,” said Greg Gilligan, PGA TOUR Vice President and Managing Director - Greater China.
“China’s Zecheng Dou and Xinjun Zhang played three PGA TOUR Series-China seasons and moved from the Web.com Tour to the PGA TOUR, becoming the first players from Mainland China to hold PGA TOUR membership, further inspiring the next generation of Chinese golfers. The Tour now offers more events and more prize money, so we look to drive onward and upward with Mercedes-Benz in providing exciting opportunities to aspiring Chinese and international golfers,” Gilligan added.
In 2014, PGA TOUR Series-China began offering a path to the Web.com Tour, and Li took full advantage, earning Player of the Year honors. Li played two seasons on the Web.com Tour and is a regular presence at PGA TOUR events, recently becoming the first player from China to play in THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
“The PGA TOUR Series-China’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz is an exciting opportunity for both parties. There’s a lot of synergy between us as we seek to continue to grow a Tour that provides the only path to the Web.com Tour outside of the Americas,” said Raymond Roessel, Shankai Golf’s CEO. “Mercedes-Benz is a fantastic supporter of golf in China. The new association with Mercedes-Benz takes the Tour to another level, and we’re delighted to work with such world-class, premium brands.”
The PGA TOUR established PGA TOUR Series-China in 2014 as its third international developmental tour, following 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.