China’s Mission Hills Lands 12-Year World Cup Deal

The world’s largest golfing complex will be the home for one of the largest team tournaments for the next 12 years.

China’s Mission Hills Golf Club, which has a world record 216 holes in its sprawling compound in Shenzhen, will stage an expanded World Cup for a dozen more years, according to organisers, the European Tour.

In an announcement in Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland, the Tour also said that the number of competing countries will increase to 28, which represents an expansion of four teams.

For this year’s World Cup finals, from November 22-25, 18 seeded teams will take part and are joined by 10 who come through qualifiers in Aruba and Kuala Lumpur.

Prize money will also be increased by $2 million to a total of $5 million. Last year’s tournament was won by Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem.

The Mission Hills complex has 12 courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf architecture. The 2007 Finals itself will be played on the course designed by Spain’s former US Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.

Among the designers for other courses on Mission Hills are Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo, David Duval, Jumbo Ozaki and David Leadbetter.

Mission Hills first hosted the World Cup in 1995, when China staged a world-class golfing tournament for the first time in the country’s history.

Since then, golf in China has boomed with courses sprouting up all over the country, with Mission Hills, in particular, leading the way in terms of golf course development and producing Chinese golfers.

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