WGC-HSBC Champions event at Shanghai International Golf Club is the real deal with actual top ranked players. Woods/Mickelson is enough to catch this Average Golfer's interest. Throwing in defending champ Sergio, Paddy Harrington, Geoff Ogilvy, and Henrik Stenson just adds to their worldwide street cred. Despite being officially declared a World Golf Championship event just 6 months ago, the fledgling tourney has managed to attract 15 of the world's top 20 stick men. Not bad for a November tournament being contested well after many players, (see Americans), have hung up the clubs for the year.
The PGA Tour however needs to do a bit of rearranging to make this must-play tour stop. You see, the Tour doesn't count this week's purse in their year long money earnings list. If they expect this to play as it's US based WGC brethren, they need to make the winnings count toward the top 125 list and validate the event. I would imagine this will happen in the not too distant future, but still find it hard to believe they didn't accomplish it when they granted WGC status.
No one need look any further than this tournament being held in Shanghai to witness the future of growth in golf. The economy has dragged the game down in the US and other traditional capitalist societies. Look East to find the cash stockpiles and fresh population bases to propel the game forward. Better get used to setting the Tivo for time zones heretofore undiscovered. The next Tiger Woods may well speak Mandarin, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.