China Open - Six to watch
Watch all four rounds of the China Open on Sky Sports - live coverage gets underway on Thursday at 6am on SS2 & HD2
Last Updated: April 14, 2010 9:44am
Strange: defending champion
Following the excitement of the opening major of the season at Augusta, the European Tour heads east for the first of two events in Asia.
This week's China Open takes place at Suzhou Jinji Lake, which is a Gary Player-designed course with a distinctly links feel to it.
The venue, which is staging a 'European' event for the first time, is not expected to prove a low-scoring lay-out.
Scott Strange returns to defend the title he won 12 months ago at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club.
The Australian will be looking to become the first player to successfully defend the Volvo China Open title - should he do so it would be his third successive European Tour season with a victory.
To do so he will have to conquer a field that has a sprinkling of star names with the likes of Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Oliver Wilson, Ross McGowan and USPGA champion YE Yang all teeing it up.
Also competing this week are Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin who will both be able to cast their eye over some hopefuls for the European team.
So who will fancy their chances of contending this week?
Thomas Bjorn: Despite being a lowly 173rd in the World Ranking, the Dane has shown a return to form this year - he has registered four top-20 finishes in his most recent five events.
Peter Lawrie: The Irishman is developing into one of the Tour's most consistent performers. Has had three top-10s in his last five starts.
Wen-Chong Liang: Remains China's best hope of a home victory this weekend. He is Asia's fifth highest-ranked player in the world and was a winner on home soil earlier this month.
Ross McGowan: The upwardly-mobile Englishman will be confident of collecting his second European Tour title in what is a field of moderate ability. The 2009 Madrid Masters winner is ranked 67 in the world.
Seung-Yul Noh: The teenage Korean stunned the golfing world in March when he won the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur.
Danny Willett: The up-and-coming Englishman posted a top-eight finish on his last trip to Asia last month - which is one of three Tour top-10s so far during 2010.