The Volvo China Open got off to a suitably colourful start on Tuesday afternoon with the official opening ceremony in Shanghai.
After a Kung Fu show opened proceedings, dignitaries from the China Golf Association, the Shanghai Government, the Volvo Group and Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club took to the stage to deliver speeches.
Once the speeches were over, Zhang Xiaoning, Vice President and Secretary General of the CGA, sounded a gong to herald the official start of the RMB 20 million event.
Defending champion Alex Levy was then joined on stage by Mikko Ilonen, winner of the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship; Zhang Lianwei, the first Chinese player to win on The European Tour; and rising star Li Ha-tong, who finished runner-up behind Kiradech Aphibarnrat in Shenzhen last week.
Amidst a frenzy of fireworks, the quartet struck exploding golf balls into the lake beside the 18th green as the curtain was raised on the 21st edition of China’s national Open.