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Volume 24 No. 117
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Golf World Cup Title Sponsor Omega President Calls China An "Immature" Market

The future of golf's World Cup was "thrown into doubt during Sunday's final round after the title sponsor labelled China 'too immature' a market to restore the event to global standing," according to Peter Simpson of the AFP. Omega President Stephen Urquhart said that he was "unhappy with the strength of the field because only a token number of top players opted to represent their countries in the 28-nation team event." Urquhart: "China is too immature a market to put the World Cup where it should be. It's too early for China to support by itself a tournament on this scale." Simpson noted the "stinging criticism is a blow for the tournament organisers, Hong Kong brothers Kenneth and Tenniel Chu and their Chinese government backers." The World Cup was launched in '53 and moved to China permanently in '07. Urquhart denied that Omega was "planning to pull out of the event it has sponsored since 2007, which now takes place every two years." But he said, "This is the last World Cup in this format which we are committed to ... I can't say now that ... in November 2013, we will be in this place or that place" (AFP, 11/27).