Irish golf ace Rory McIlroy will headline a tour that will bring four star golfers to seven Chinese cites in seven days for October's Shui On Land China Golf Challenge.

According to a report in ESPN Ernie Els, a former world number one and three-time Major champion, Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter and Chinese number one Liang Wen-chong will also compete in the made-for-television competition from October 10-16.

The four men will play only 18 holes over the week, competing on just two or three holes at each of the eight courses.

The event will begin in Shanghai then head to the northern cities of Dalian and Beijing, with play in the capital taking place over two courses.

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22-year-old McIlroy, has previously only visited Shanghai and Guangdong province and was eager to see more of mainland China.

'I'm always keen for a challenge, but this is different to any golf tournament I've competed in,' he told ESPN. 'For me, this will be as much about exploring China as competing, and I've got some good travel companions in Ian Poulter, Ernie Els and Liang [Wen-chong]. Hopefully Liang can give us some local tips on the best food,' he joked.

'It's a frenetic schedule as we're flying six times in the middle five days. The only days we're not on a plane are the first and last days, but don't forget that we have to fly in and out of China before and after the event, so this will be a serious test of endurance!'

The Shui On Land China Golf Challenge offers a colorful insight into different parts of China, featuring pro-ams, coaching clinics, entertainment and publicity events while the lucky golfers will get the chance to sample each city's local cuisine and culture. The event has been created to promote China's world class golfing facilities but also to promote the nations wider tourist potential too.


Rory McIlroy