HUANGSHAN, China—American Trevor Sluman is excited to take on a second straight Gary Player-designed course this week after overtaking the No. 1 spot on the Order of Merit with his runner-up finish at last week’s Suzhou Open. This week, the PGA TOUR Series-China’s Huangshan Championship is at Hidden Tiger Golf Club, located within China’s famous Anhui province, with stunning views of mountains and nature.
Away from the big, exciting cities that players are more accustomed to, the setting this week is much more peaceful, with the course tucked away within the mountains. Players even have the option of taking a ferry along the scenic Taiping Lake from their hotel to the golf course.
Despite some rain during the practice rounds, the weather appears to be getting better throughout the week, and Sluman is planning to make the most of his visit. The native New Yorker has already seen much of China, having played a full season on the Tour in 2018. He says the venue this week is something quite special and unique.
“It’s amazing to be out here. The hotel is right on the water, and I never would have though that I’d be playing at a place like this,” said Sluman. “It’s very cool to be surrounded by all these mountains, and I’ve already taken a lot of nice pictures and videos. It’s definitely special and a nice change of scenery.”
Apart from the beautiful landscapes, Sluman also feels that the course suits him but admits the Hidden Tiger layout—more narrow and penal off the tees—poses more additional threats than last week’s host course.
“The course is very different to last week, but I really like them both. This week is a bit more narrow, and you have to play smart off the tee and try your best to not get in any trouble,” said Sluman. “It definitely suits me because I’ve been playing great, and I like the greens here. Hopefully I can plot my way around the course and shoot a low score.”
Sluman had a solid 2018 season, finishing ninth on the Order of Merit to get into the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. With only conditional Korn Ferry Tour status, he wasn’t able to secure any starts. Now more than halfway through the season, the big-hitting American has already secured one win—at the Sanya Championship—and is on track to play on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour. He leads the Order of Merit with RMB 572,709, roughly 80,000 ahead of compatriot Max McGreevy.
“My goal is to win the Order of Merit, so this event is really important to me because I want to keep the momentum going and try to extend my lead,” said Sluman. “It’s difficult because a lot of guys are playing really well. I just need to stay focused and keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully the results will keep coming.”