Yang aiming for historic double

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South Korea’s YE Yang will be looking to become the first player to successfully defend the Volvo China Open this week.

South Korea’s YE Yang will be looking to become the first player to successfully defend the Volvo China Open this week.

The 17th running of the event tees off this Thursday at Luxehills International Country Club in China, and Yang will be headlining the field alongside Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, who will be aiming to upset Yang’s plans.

Other big names set to take part include Spain’s Sergio Garcia, whose game has been showing signs of recovery in recent weeks, as well Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

Yang feels he is in with a good shout of defending his crown.

“It is always important that a player defends any title he wins, out of respect for the championship and its sponsors, so I am pleased to be returning to China where I have already won twice,” he said.

“I know the Volvo China Open title has never been successfully defended, but there is a first time for everything.”

Harrington will be hoping that won’t be the case come Sunday, as he seeks to get his season back on track after two missed cuts in his last three events.

“I have always enjoyed playing in China and have been made to feel incredibly welcome,” he said.

“I have won before on Chinese soil in the 2004 Hong Kong Open and would love to make it another by capturing the Volvo China Open.”

China’s top ranked golfer in the event is Liang Wen-chong, who will be hoping to make some history of his own and become the first Chinese player to win the event.

The 32-year-old tasted victory on this course last year, and he believes the experience will count in his favour.

“I feel fresh, relaxed and on top of my game, but if I’m to win against a world-class field, I will have to play my very best,” he said.

“The support I will receive from my home crowd will hopefully inspire me to achieve what would be my most important victory so far, because every golfer naturally wants to win his National Open.

“Winning would be something very special.”

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