Eight Chinese players have been guaranteed a place in the new US$5 million HSBC Champions tournament to be held in Shanghai in November. Home favourite Zhang Lianwei will likely lead the challenge against 100 of the world's best golfers, including world number one Tiger Woods. The event boasts twice the prize money of any tournament previously staged in China and puts the mainland on a par with the rest of the world. First prize is worth US$833,000. 'It will be a world-class tournament,' said Zhang. 'Fans will be able to watch many great champions from all four of the partnering tours.' The event, which will be played at the Sheshan International Golf Club from November 10-13, will be co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Sunshine (Southern Africa) Tour, and the China Golf Association. The tournament will be the first truly international 'championship of champions' in world golf. In addition to a commitment to play from Woods, the event brings together winners across the four tours, matching them against the top 50 in the official world rankings. 'I can't wait,' said Woods, who has his sights set this week on the US Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina. 'The best players in the world teeing up head to head - it is going to be a blast.' Chinese Golf Association vice-chairman Hu Jianguo said: 'This announcement marks our achievement in developing golf over the past 20 years. Hosting an event of such global significance is fantastic for Shanghai and will raise the profile of golf in China.' The course, which opened last November, is located near the Sheshan National Forest Park and is only 20 minutes from downtown Shanghai. A Sheshan International spokesman said: 'We are honoured to be hosting this world-class tournament. Since our official opening last year, we have paid special attention to our course maintenance and development. We hope to offer the best conditions for the players in November.' The tournament will be the first on the 2006 European Tour schedule. Uniquely for a stroke play event, HSBC is also providing prize money for the entire field irrespective of whether they make the 36-hole cut. HSBC Group chairman Sir John Bond said: 'It is fitting that HSBC, a company founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai 140 years ago, should now play an important part in the development of golf in China. We are honoured by this opportunity and would like to thank the China Golf Association and the municipal government for their support. 'HSBC has been privileged to enjoy a continuous presence in the city of Shanghai since 1865, but we are not investing in golf simply because of our history here. In China, we see a country whose economic progress in the past 25 years has been nothing short of astonishing. By bringing the world's best golfers to play alongside winners across Asia and rising stars in China, we hope the HSBC Champions tournament will further increase the appeal of golf and inspire young golfers across the region,' he said. 'Golf absolutely mirrors HSBC's character and how we like to do business. We are therefore proud of this new, increased commitment to the game. Internationalism, inclusiveness and integrity are as much characteristics of the sport as they are of HSBC.'