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Golf: China to Host Johnnie Walker Classic

China will host the Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament next year. The $2.3 million event is sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian tours and will be the richest golf tournament ever to be staged in China.

The event will be held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pine Valley Course in Beijing from April 21-24. Hu Jianguo, Vice Chairman of the China Golf Association, which has officially approved the tournament, said hosting the event would benefit Chinese golfers. He added that it will showcase China's strength in attracting and hosting world class events leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Johnnie Walker Classic was first staged in Hong Kong in 1990. Over the past 14 years, the event has been played in eight different Asian cities and on 10 different golf courses.