Kaymer, Donald to play in Guangdong

World number three Luke Donald and defending champion Martin Kaymer have confirmed their attendance for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Championship.

Golf News: Martin Kaymer

The event, to be held at Mission Hills Guangdong, China will also include American four-time major winner Phil Mickelson, fourth-ranked Lee Westwood and takes place at the Olazabal Course from November 1 to 4, 2012.

Kaymer, the 2010 US PGA Champion, is looking forward to defending the title which he won in such style last November, with nine birdies on the final day leaving him three shots clear of the chasing pack.

Germany's number one player, Kaymer, commented: "I think HSBC is a lucky charm for me! I really like HSBC tournaments as I seem to play so well in them. Last year I won HSBC's tournament in Abu Dhabi again and then I had an amazing week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November. It is a little bit of a disadvantage to be defending my title on a different course but I really liked the Olazabal Course when I played the World Cup there in 2009 so I am looking forward to returning and seeing if I can mount a successful defence of this prestigious title."

Kaymer continued: "I haven't had as good a year as I would have liked and I really want to finish my season on a high note so winning my second World Golf Championships would be a great way to turn my season around. It is the biggest event we play in Asia and it is one that everyone wants to win."

Donald is also eagerly anticipating his week at the WGC-HSBC Champions having missed out on playing last year at the last minute as he awaited the birth of his second daughter. Donald said: "I was so disappointed to miss out on playing at the WGC-HSBC Champions last year although it was for the best possible reason! It is Asia's flagship event and has become a very significant tournament worldwide and I think our performances there will be a key factor in deciding both the Race to Dubai and the World Ranking come the end of the year."

Mickelson, a two time winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions, said: "I've had great experiences at the WGC-HSBC Champions and I am really looking forward to playing in the next edition. I love competing around the world, and it's truly exciting in the growing markets of Asia and China because there's a real buzz about golf and the fans are so enthusiastic and appreciative. Although I have won the title twice, this year we are playing on a new course in a new venue so I won't have the advantage of my past experiences. This is a world-class tournament and to win my third title would be a wonderful finale for my season."

Westwood added: "As Asia becomes ever more important on the global golf map, I think it would be very special to claim my first World Golf Championships title in China. I enjoy this tournament and, having never finished outside the top 15 including two second place finishes, hopefully I can finish one place higher this year."

The final World Golf Championships of 2012 will take place at Mission Hills for the first time after seven very successful editions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. With the announcement of these great players, a stellar field is expected to be revealed over the coming weeks by tournament organisers, IMG.

Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events for HSBC, said: "HSBC is delighted to welcome back these four great champions to the eighth WGC-HSBC Champions. Martin's nine birdies on the Sunday of last year's tournament was one of the most remarkable performances of 2012 and he was an excellent champion and one we very much look forward to welcoming back. It has been extremely gratifying to see how eager Luke and Phil have been to return after missing out last year while Lee has seemed to be almost a permanent fixture on our leaderboard and would be a very popular champion."

The WGC-HSBC Champions boasts a prize fund of US$7 million and is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.

The other World Golf Championships include the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The following marquee players have won the coveted WGC-HSBC Champions title; David Howell, YE Yang, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Phil Mickelson - the only one to have won the title twice - and as referenced above, Kaymer became the latest to join that impressive roll of honour in 2011.



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