CHINA'S biggest golfing extravaganza was yesterday hailed a resounding success, writes Spencer Robinson. Galleries, estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000, invaded the town of Guanlan to witness the final day's action in the 41st Heineken World Cup of Golf. On the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Mission Hills Golf Club, victory went to the American duo of Fred Couples and Davis Love - their fourth triumph in a row. 'It's been a great experience for everyone. We hope the tournament will contribute to the development of golf in China,' said Love. David Chu Shu-ho, chairman of Mission Hills and the driving force behind bringing the World Cup to China for the first time, said: 'It's been a wonderful week. Golf and Shenzhen run parallel in growth. Through this event we have shown to the world that our country has reformed and opened up to economic growth.' David Ciclitira, chairman and chief executive of World Cup promoters, Parallel Media Group, said he was overwhelmed by the success. His sentiments were echoed by officials from the International Golf Association (IGA) and the China Golf Association as well as the 64 players from 32 nations who took part. Cheng said he was surprised so many people came to Mission Hills to watch. Although mobile phones and beepers continued to go off, the players, for the most part, took it all in good heart realising that this was the first time most of those present in the galleries had watched golf. Doing a sterling job throughout the week were the overworked marshals, who had the task of attempting to keep a semblance of control with the crowds. After driving off at the par-five sixth, Love turned to the chief marshal and said: 'Good luck on this hole. They'll charge you here.' At the seventh another marshal bellowed: 'Please make way for the players!' When Love's path to the tee was blocked, another shouted: 'He is one!' As he walked down the ninth fairway yesterday, Jim Klimschot, the IGA's Operations Manager, said: 'The galleries were three times bigger than we expected. The marshals have done a great job. 'Overall the galleries have been fantastic. I'd say they're better behaved than New York crowds . . . and that's where I come from.' The tented village was unlike any other in golf. Located in between the first tee and ninth green it had been a focal point for locals and visitors. At US and European Tour events, champagne, strawberries and ice cream are the orders of the day. At Mission Hills, it was noodles, congee and Chinese tea. And they did a roaring trade. 'It's been very busy,' said Lydia, one of dozens of students from Shenzhen who acted as vendors at the stalls in the CTS Food Street where spectators could sit down to relax after walking the course. She said: 'It's exciting to be here. There are so many people and it's a good chance for us to practise our English with foreigners.' Adjoining the food outlets was the CTS Goods Street with a chain of booths selling everything from special Chinese herbal medicine to traditional carvings.