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European PGA Tour

PGA European - Volvo China Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 26th
SITE: Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club, Shanghai, China
COURSE ARCHITECT: Kato Shinsuke (1997)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,315
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 404 Yds10 - Par 4 386 Yds
2 - Par 5 550 Yds11 - Par 4 371 Yds
3 - Par 3 249 Yds12 - Par 3 203 Yds
4 - Par 4 490 Yds13 - Par 5 568 Yds
5 - Par 4 414 Yds14 - Par 4 356 Yds
6 - Par 4 440 Yds15 - Par 4 477 Yds
7 - Par 4 388 Yds16 - Par 4 461 Yds
8 - Par 3 182 Yds17 - Par 3 216 Yds
9 - Par 5 570 Yds18 - Par 5 590 Yds
36 3,687 Yds36 3,628 Yds
Annual:  21st (12th year as part of European Tour)
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 2:30-5:30 a.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 6-10 a.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Alexander Levy
Runner-Up:  Tommy Fleetwood
Tournament Record:  264 (Nicolas Colsaerts, 2011)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Nicolas Colsaerts, 2011; Branden Grace, 2012)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Alexander Levy, 2014)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Jamie Donaldson, 2011 - Luxehills International CC)
Total Purse:  $3,230,000
Shares:  1st Place - $540,000; 2nd Place - $358,395; 3rd Place - $201,920
2014 Finish
Alexander Levy269Ian Poulter277
Tommy Fleetwood273Henrik Stenson277
Alvaro Quiros275Five players at278
Francesco Molinari276
Anders Hansen277
Past Volvo China Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2014Alexander Levy (269) -- Tommy Fleetwood
2013Brett Rumford (272) -- Mikko Ilonen
2012Branden Grace (267) -- Nicolas Colsaerts
2011Nicolas Colsaerts (264) -- S. Kjeldsen, Pe. Lawrie, P. Martin, D. Lee
2010Y.E. Yang (273) -- Stephen Dodd, Rhys Davies
2009Scott Strange (280) -- Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
2008Damien McGrane (278) -- Oliver Wilson, Simon Griffiths, M. Lorenzo-Vera
2007Markus Brier (274) -- Scott Hend, Graeme McDowell, Andrew McLardy
2006Jeev Milkha Singh (278) -- Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
2005*Paul Casey (275) -- Oliver Wilson
2004Stephen Dodd (276) -- Thomas Bjorn
2003Lian-Wei Zhang (277) -- Thaworn Wiratchant
2002David Gleeson (272) -- Pablo Del Olmo
2001Charlie Wi (272) -- Thongchai Jaidee
2000Simon Dyson (275) -- Jyoti Randhawa
1999Kyi Hla Han (273) -- Christian Pena
1998Edward Fryatt (269) -- Takeshi Ohyama
1997Jun Cheng (280) -- Adrian Percey
1996Prayad Marksaeng (269) -- Yu-Shu Hsieh
1995Raul Fretes (277) -- Ying-Juh Lai

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Alexander Levy---------------Won
Tommy Fleetwood---------mcT-292nd
Mikko IlonenmcT-4---T-642ndT-8
Scott StrangeWonmcmcT-29mcT-24
Richie Ramsay------T-43T-52T-29T-32
Hao-Tong Li------mcmcmcT-50
Soren Kjeldsen------T-2T-29T-33T-60
Nicolas Colsaerts---T-8Won2nd---mc
Ross Fisher---------mc---mc
K. Aphibarnrat---mc---mcT-12---
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tommy Fleetwood
Darkhorse - Hae Tong Li
Last Week's Pick to Win (Bubba Watson) - Finished tied for 29th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jaco Van Zyl) - Missed the cut
NOTES:The 2015 European Tour season continues this week in China with the
21st installment of the Volvo China Open. This is the 12th year that this tournament is part of the European Tour International Schedule. Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club will host this event for the first time.

Only two players ranked in the top 60 of the world rankings are in the field - Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (55) and Frenchman Alexander Levy (60), who is the defending champion. Fleetwood finished third last week at the Shenzhen International. That finish moved him to 55th in the world and qualified him for next week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play.

Last year, Levy carded rounds of 68-62-70-69 and cruised to victory. Levy finished his first European Tour victory at 19-under-par 269, which left him four strokes clear of Fleetwood. In 20 stagings of this event, Levy became the 20th different winner.

In 2013, Brett Rumford fired four rounds in the 60s and cruised to a 4-stroke victory over Mikko Ilonen. Rumford, who also won the Ballantine's Championship the week prior, finished 72 holes at 16-under 272 and became the 31st player to secure back-to-back titles on the European Tour. The last Australian to record back-to-back wins on the European Tour was Jack Newton in 1972.

Amateur Wo-cheng Ye of China became the youngest player to compete in a European Tour event in 2013 at the age of 12 years and 242 days old. Ye missed the cut after carding consecutive 79s in the first two rounds. The previous record was held by Tianlang Guan, who was 13 years and 177 days old in this event in 2012.

Branden Grace carded rounds of 67-67-64-69 to cruise to a 3-stroke win over 2011 champion Nicolas Colsaerts in 2012. Grace finished at 21-under 267 for his third of four wins in 2012. The South African became just the second player in European Tour history to win three times in one season after graduating from Q-School the year before. Johan Edfors was the first to do so in 2006. Only Seve Ballesteros and Sandy Lyle won at least three titles in one season at a younger age than the 23-year-old Grace. He joined Ernie Els and Retief Goosen as the only South Africans to win at least three times in one season on the European Tour.

Colsaerts fired four rounds in the 60s to earn his first European Tour victory in 2011. Colsaerts finished his record-breaking win at 24-under-par 264. The previous 72-hole scoring record at this event was 269, which Prayad Marksaeng set in 1996 and Edward Fryatt matched in 1998. Colsaerts also set the 54-hole scoring mark. He joined Phillipe Touissant as the only two Belgians to win on the European Tour. In a week of great scoring, 73 of the 75 players who made the cut finished under par for the tournament.

In 2008, Damien McGrane shot rounds of 68-69-68-73 to earn his first European Tour win. McGrane completed the event at 10-under-par 274. That was good for a 9-stroke victory over Oliver Wilson, Simon Griffiths and Michael Lorenzo-Vera. Scores soared in tough conditions during the final round and McGrane's 1-over 73 tied for the second best score of the day.

Paul Casey defeated fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson on the first playoff hole to win the title in 2005. It was the first and only playoff in the history of the tournament.

The best players on the European Tour will be in the United States next week for the WGC-Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, where Australian Jason Day will defend his title.

04/21 15:16:32 ET

As of April 21, 2015, at 03:16 PM ET

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