European Golf Tour
PGA European - Volvo China Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 2nd through Sunday, May 5th
SITE: Binhai Lake Golf Club, Tianjin, China
COURSE ARCHITECT: Dye Design (2011)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,667
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 423 Yds10 - Par 4 374 Yds
2 - Par 5 572 Yds11 - Par 4 392 Yds
3 - Par 3 260 Yds12 - Par 5 575 Yds
4 - Par 4 481 Yds13 - Par 3 287 Yds
5 - Par 4 420 Yds14 - Par 4 498 Yds
6 - Par 5 593 Yds15 - Par 4 390 Yds
7 - Par 4 374 Yds16 - Par 3 199 Yds
8 - Par 3 246 Yds17 - Par 4 469 Yds
9 - Par 4 484 Yds18 - Par 5 630 Yds
36 3,853 Yds36 3,814 Yds
Annual:  19th (10th year as part of European Tour)
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Branden Grace
Runner-Up:  Nicolas Colsaerts
Tournament Record:  264 (Nicolas Colsaerts, 2011)
54-Hole Record:  198 (Nicolas Colsaerts, 2011; Branden Grace, 2012)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Jamie Donaldson, 2011)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Jamie Donaldson, 2011 - Luxehills International CC)
Course Record:  63 (Alexander Noren, 2012)
Total Purse:  $3,242,416
Shares:  1st Place - $534,269; 2nd Place - $356,176; 3rd Place - $200,669
2012 Finish
Branden Grace267Ricardo Gonzalez273
Nicolas Colsaerts270Marcus Fraser273
Richard Finch271Francesco Molinari273
Victor Dubuisson272Alexander Noren273
George Coetzee272Fabrizio Zanotti273
Past Volvo China Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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
Branden GraceT-16------Won
Alexander Noren---T-8mcT-6
Marcus FraserT-20T-53mcT-6
Paul Lawrie---mc---T-14
Peter Whiteford---T-28T-16T-18
Damien McGraneT-38T-17T-22T-23
Soren Kjeldsen------T-2T-29
Brett RumfordT-33mcT-22T-29
Scott StrangeWonmcmcT-29
Peter LawriemcT-28T-263rd
Gareth MaybinT-20T-45T-10T-64
Stephen Gallacher---T-36T-52mc
Paul Casey---------mc
Paul WaringT-57mcT-22---
Thomas Bjorn---mc------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Alexander Noren
Darkhorse - Paul Waring
Last Week's Pick to Win (Mikko Ilonen) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Peter Uihlein) - Finished tied for 65th
The 2013 European Tour season continues this week in China with the 19th installment of the Volvo China Open. This is the 10th year that this tournament is part of the European Tour International Schedule. Binhai Lake Golf Club will host this event for the second straight year. Binhai Lake was designed by the Pete Dye Design Group and opened for play in 2011.

Only two players ranked in the top-50 of the world rankings are in the field -- defending champion Branden Grace (32) and Paul Lawrie (40). Grace finished tied for 18th at the Masters three weeks ago. He has three top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season after recording four wins in 2012.

This week's tournament is the 77th European Tour event to which Volvo has attached its name, with the 1987 Volvo Belgian Open being the first of its extensive portfolio which now stretches into a fourth decade.

Amateur Wo-cheng Ye of China is in the field this week at the age of 12 years and 242 days old. He will become the youngest player to compete in a European Tour event. The previous record was held by Tianlang Guan, who was 13 years and 177 days old in this event in 2012. Guan went on to become the youngest player to compete and make the cut at the Masters this year. Ye qualified for this tournament by finishing in the top three in the Western China Qualifying.

Last year, Grace carded rounds of 67-67-64-69 to cruise to a 3-stroke win over 2011 champion Nicolas Colsaerts. 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, the tournaments' 18-, 36-, 54- and 72-hole scoring records were all set and 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 European Tour International Schedule continues in two weeks with the Volvo World Match Play Championship, where Colsaerts captured the title in 2012. The rest of the European Tour will be in Portugal in two weeks for the Madeira Islands Open - Portugal - BPI, where Ricardo Santos won last year.

04/30 15:01:14 ET

As of April 30, 2013, at 03:01 PM ET