The HSBC Champions tournament in 2009 has been elevated to the elite stable of World Golf Championship events with a prize fund of US$7million and boasts a revised qualifying criteria to include all the main tours: Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR of Australasia and the Sunshine Tour, ensuring a top quality international field including elite Chinese players qualifying through the China Golf Association.
The WGC-HSBC Champions will not only maintain the tournament's format of bringing together tournament winners from all over the world, but will also include the best players from the International Federation's Tours. World No. 1 Tiger Woods and defending Champion Sergio Garcia have already confirmed their entries in the world-class field. The first WGC-HSBC Champions will return to the highly-rated Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai from Nov. 5-8, 2009.
Tiger Woods said, "I played in the HSBC Champions in 2005 and 2006 and I am looking forward to returning to Shanghai this November. It is an event that symbolizes the amazing progress of golf in Asia and its new World Golf Championships status underlines how firmly China has established its place on the global golf calendar. I enjoy playing around the world when possible, and having a WGC event in China is very important to the global growth of the game."
Prior to the HSBC Champions' inclusion into the World Golf Championships: The winner of the inaugural HSBC Champions tournament in 2005 was England's David Howell who held off Tiger Woods to win by three shots. The World No.1 came up just short again in 2006 when Korea's Yang Yong-Eun was the surprise winner. In 2007 the world's best-known "leftie" Phil Mickelson lifted the title after a play-off - and extra holes were again needed in 2008 when Sergio Garcia edged out England's Oliver Wilson at the second extra hole.