Volvo China Open: European Tour Makes 2nd China Stop

Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Volvo China Open
Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports /

Can Bernd Wiesberger pull off the “China Slam” this week?

Headlining this week’s Volvo Open is world No. 30 Bernd Wiesberger, aka Burnt Cheeseburger, aka Wiesburger in Paradise.

The multi-nicknamed 31-year-old Austrian climbed up from No. 42 thanks to a win last week at the Shenzhen International defeating runner-up No. 29 Tommy Fleetwood and a lurking Bubba Watson.

Wiesberger can pull off the “China Slam” this week with back-to-back wins. Extra points if he can pick off a win at October’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

No. 45 Ross Fisher is the other top-50 player in China. He’s No. 5 in the Race to Dubai standings. Among the winless this season, only No. 3 Jon Rahm is higher in the RtD.

Fisher could be poised for his sixth career European Tour win and first since 2014 if he continues his form found in three top-fives in his last four starts.

If that’s not enough, Fisher came agonizingly close to a win in 2016 with two runner-ups and two more top-fives.

Several players are in the field with the chance to become this season’s first multi-winner (not counting Dustin Johnson winning two European Tour-sanctioned WGC events).

They include Brandon Stone, Sam Brazel, Graeme Storm, Jeunghun Wang, Fabrizio Zanotti, Brett Rumford, Darren Fichardt, Dean Burmester, SSP Chawrasia, Edoardo Molinari and Wiesberger.

Who else would the non-hardcore golf fan recognize?

There’s 2016 European Ryder Cup member Chris Wood, 2015 International Presidents Cup member Thongchai Jaidee and multiple winners Joost Luiten, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thorbjorn Olesen.

The tournament exemptions went to some experienced vets in 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang, past European Ryder Cup members Stephen Gallacher and (2018 captain) Thomas Bjorn. David Howell and Jeev Milkah Singh also were invited.

Fourty-one Chinese compose the 156-player field. The contingent honoring the red and gold are headed by defending champ Li Haotong, ranked No. 151 in the world. Seven are amateurs including 17-year-old Junbin Zhang who won the Volvo China Junior Championship to earn entry.