Taiwanese-born American Sam Chien (pictured right) followed up his T6th finish at the first ever PGA Tour China Series event two weeks ago with a win in the Tour’s second event, the Buick Open. Chien finished on 16-under-par, three shots ahead of Chinese amateur Dou Zecheng, who made the cut at last year’s Volvo China Open, aged just 16. Li Haotong, who played well for 70 of 72 holes at this year’s Volvo China Open maintained his good form, finishing T5th on 7-under. Korean-born American Skyler Hong missed the cut, but drove away with a Buick GL-8 after acing the par-3 13th in the second round.
There have been a couple of fantastic, long-form articles written in recent days about sport in this part of the world. The first comes from Brook Larmer, author of the 2005 book Operation Yao Ming which details the rise of China’s most famous sporting son. Writing in the New York Times, Larmer turns his attention to golf, describing a fascinating picture of the wealthy, driven parents of kids as young as eight essentially creating their own mini versions of the state-backed sports schools that have been so successful in churning out Olympians. Here’s an extract:
Diego Armando Maradona, the scourge of English soccer fans and the Italian taxman, has just achieved perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of his storied career: winning a case in a Chinese court. Continue reading Maradona wins China court battle – but will he get paid?
The 99% claim has popped up twice in recent days in the context of Chinese sports, and both times there are less than convincing arguments.
Firstly, a Shanghai Shenhua club lawyer told Sina in reference to Didier Drogba’s contested move to Galatasaray in Turkey:
“We now have evidence which we believe will give Shenhua a 99% chance of winning a lawsuit at FIFA.”
Unnamed legal sources tend to have a habit of exaggeration because they are anonymous –> untraceable –> unaccountable. But I’m pretty sure – 99% sure in fact – that Drogba’s own legal team would have made sure there is a water tight case for breach of contract by Shenhua (presumably for unpaid wages) before he moved to another club.
Here’s my weekly Sports Talk column from the Global Times, entitled “Star exits don’t matter in bigger picture”
With all the negative headlines surrounding the recent departures of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, it is important to keep some perspective about where this leaves Chinese soccer.
Was it disappointing? Yes, but their exits came as no surprise. The pair had long been rumored to be on their way out, and they are hardly the first foreign players to have left before fulfilling their contracts.
It is far more embarrassing, though, for the club and its flamboyant owner, Zhu Jun, an Internet entrepreneur whose ambitions appear to have wildly outsized his bank balance.