Volvo China Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

Alex Levy could further strengthen his Ryder Cup bid with a third Volvo China Open victory this week

Volvo China Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour is in China this week for the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf & CC in Beijing

Volvo China Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

Alexander Levy defends the Volvo China Open this week and is bookies' favourite having won the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Sunday.

Levy strengthened his Ryder Cup bid with his one stroke victory at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to move up to ninth in the European points list and a career-high 47th in the world rankings.

The Volvo China Open returns to Topwin G&CC for the third straight year and Levy shot a course record 63 in 2017 whilst playing with European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.

The Frenchman began the final round seven back of Dylan Frittelli last year and eventually won with a birdie on the first extra hole.

"Playing in China obviously agrees with me," Levy said ahead of this week.

"It's a lucky country for me and not only at the Volvo China Open as I've also finished seventh, third and fourth at other tournaments here so there's no doubt that I like the place.

"Winning last year in China was definitely a different feeling from 2014 because your first win is always special.

"I've played well since the start of the season. "I'm happy with the way I'm working, the way I'm swinging and the way I'm playing. It's a good time for me. I think it's the best I've been swinging in my career, so I just enjoy it and try to hit the best shots I can."

2016 champion Haotong Li, China's number one, is in the field again and is having a superb season. The 22-year-old beat Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic in January and comes into this week fresh off a T32nd finish at The Masters.

Haotong Li won the Volvo China Open aged 20 in 2016. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is also highly fancied having won twice already this season.

The tournament returns to Topwin Golf & CC for a third year. It’s an undulating layout that was designed by 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam. An interesting feature on the course is the fact the Great Wall of China can be seen from almost every hole. The water hazards will play a big part in the strategy as there are only three holes where water isn’t a factor.

Since this event was first contested on the European Tour schedule in 2005.

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Venue: Topwin Golf & CC, Beijing, China Date: April 26-29 Course stats: par 72, 7,261 yards Purse: €2,570,587 Defending Champion: Alexander Levy (-17)

TV Coverage: Thursday 27– Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am Friday 28 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am Saturday 29 – Sky Sports Golf from 5.30am Sunday 30 – Sky Sports Golf from 5.30am

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Player watch:

Alexander Levy - The Frenchman is rightly favourite for the tournament this week. He is the only man to have won this tournament twice and could well win in a third time this week.

Haotong Li - The 22-year-old will be the fan favourite this week and is looking to match Levy as a two-time China Open winner

Ashun Wu - The home player won here in 2015 and also won the Lyoness Open in 2016. He will carry a lot of support and has made his last four cuts

Key hole: 18th – A 583-yard par-5 that will be reachable in two for the longest hitters. Water protects the front right of the green so anything not quite solidly hit could end up in trouble.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5