Volvo China Open preview

Defending champion Alexander Levy is targeting a unique hat-trick as he heads for Beijing for the defence of his Volvo China Open crown this week.

Levy produced a stunning performance to card a 63 and break the course record at Topwin Golf & Country Club 12 months ago, for what was his 4th European Tour title.

It was at last year’s event that he was playing alongside European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, and his chances of playing at Le Golf National in September would certainly increase with a repeat performance this time around.

There is also likely to be a strong challenge from Asia, as Thailand number one Kiradech Aphibarnat looks to build on an impressive run of form, while Shubhankar Sharma of India is currently second in the Race to Dubai and has registered wins in both Johannesburg and Kuala Lumpur this season.

They will join the local elites spearheaded by 2015 winner Ashan Wu and current world number 38 Haoting Li. The latter will be targeting a repeat of his heroics at the start of the year, where he overcame Rory McIlroy in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic to become the first male Chinese golfer to enter the world’s top 50.

Aside from tournament favourite Levy, two other leading European contenders look to be Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, who is a consistent performer on the Tour, and Joost Luiten who has six European Tour titles to his name including his success in Oman back in February.

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