(Reuters) – World number one Brooks Koepka says a reshuffle of the global golf calendar will see more of the top players targeting the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in October.
With the PGA Championship moved from August to May, the world’s top four — Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose — have all confirmed for the Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 tournament often billed as ‘Asia’s major’.
“I think the scheduling changes with the majors has made the WGC-HSBC Champions an even more important event for us this year,” Koepka said in a statement.
“With no majors scheduled after July, everyone will be targeting winning the final World Golf Championships of the year,” added Koepka, who finished second at last month’s U.S. Open and has placed no worse than runner-up in the past four majors.
Defending champion Xander Schauffele will also return to compete for the $10.25 million purse at the Sheshan International Golf Club.
“I am really looking forward to attempting my first successful title defense in Shanghai in a few months,” Schauffele, who has moved up to 10th in the world rankings since his title triumph last year, added.
“It was an unbelievable field last year but I think this year sounds like it is going to be even stronger with the announcement that all of the world’s top four will be there.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)