Golf-European Tour launches new $7 million event in China

LONDON, April 23 Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:43pm BST

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LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - A new tournament at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai later this year will offer a sizeable prize fund of $7 million, the European Tour said on Monday.

The BMW Masters is to be staged from Oct. 25-28 and represents the third European Tour event this year on mainland China.

The event joins last week's China Open in Tianjin on the calendar and will be played the week before the Nov. 1-4 WGC-Champions in Shenzhen.

"I am already looking forward to teeing off at the tournament," said world number one Rory McIlroy, who won last year's Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters which is now being replaced by the new event.

"The tournament will be one of the very best events in the world. That obviously makes it all the more exciting to defend my title there," added the Northern Irishman in a statement.

The new competition brings the total number of European Tour events this year to 47.

After the four major championships, the WGC (World Golf Championships) tournaments and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the BMW Masters will be the most lucrative event on the European circuit. (Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Mark Meadows)

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