The BWM Asian Open offers a look at the past, present and future of the European Tour with the likes of Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn and young guns Paul Casey, Henrik Stenston and Nick Dougherty.
In only its fifth year, the past winners list is already quite impressive with Jimenez, Ireland's Padraig Harrington and world No. 5 Ernie Els having titled in the event. Els, who won the tournament last year by a record 13 shots, decided not to return to defend his title.
Meanwhile, the 28-yaer-old Casey hopes to continue his brilliant play in China. He tied for fourth at last week's Volvo China Open, just three out of a playoff, and will be in search of his third win in China in a little over 12 months. He captured the TCL Classic last March and the Volvo China Open in November.
Montgomerie, the reigning European Tour Order of Merit winner, is struggling a great deal thus far in 2006, missing the cut in his last five stroke play events including the Masters. He did win the UBS Hong Kong Open last November, which counts for the 2006 season.
Sweden's Stenston, also coming off a missed cut at the Masters, hopes to get back on form in his push to make this year's Ryder Cup team. Currently second on the Ryder Cup World Points List for Europe, Stenson had a great start to the year with a runner-up finish at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and then busted out for his third victory on tour the following week at the Qatar Masters.
The BMW Asian Open is tri-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, as well as the China Golf Association and offers a purse of $1.8 million with $300,000 going to the winner.
The Golf Channel will televise all four rounds beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. (ET).