Last year's champion, Jeev Milkha Singh, will not be on hand to defend his title. He has remained in the United States for this week's Verizon Heritage after appearing in the Masters.
Only one of the top three finishers from a year ago -- 2005 European Tour Rookie of the Year Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano -- is returning to Shanghai this week. The Spaniard closed with rounds of 68-70 to finish one behind Singh.
This event has been around for 13 years, but just joined the European Tour's International schedule in 2005. Two China natives -- Jun Cheng (1997) and Lian-Wei Zhang (2003) -- have captured the title in that time.
Wen-Chong Liang, a playoff winner at the Singapore Masters earlier this year, made a name for himself here eight years ago as an amateur. Liang carded a fourth place finish that year, but he missed the cut the last two times this event was contested.
'All Chinese players dream of winning the Volvo China Open, but you can never force it to happen in this game,' Liang admitted. 'If it's your time, then you'll win. I'm hard working and I will keep trying. The last two years I have accepted whatever happened and now I'm looking towards the future.'
Liang will have his work cut out for himself as he is one of more than 25 golfers from China in the field this week. Also teeing it up here this week will be Thomas Bjorn, who missed the cut by two strokes at the Masters last weekend.
The GOLF CHANNEL has coverage of all four rounds this week. The European Tour remains in China next week for the BMW Asian Open, where Fernandez-Castano downed Henrik Stenson in a playoff in 2006.