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Parkin predicts close Dongfeng Nissan Cup

CTS Tycoon Golf ClubSHENZHEN, China, Nov 27 - A change of course and cold, wet weather could make this week's Dongfeng Nissan Cup even closer than last year's nail-biting affair, according to David Parkin, OneAsia's Director of Tour Operations.

Held under the OneAsia umbrella, the Ryder Cup-style 12-man team event takes place at the CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen, China, from Friday until Sunday and pits China's best golfers against an Asia-Pacific Select side drawn from the tour's participating countries.

Last year the Asia-Pacific won 12 1/2 to 11 1/2 on a gripping final day of singles last year after the teams were level 3 - 3 following the fourball matches and 6 - 6 following the foursomes.

"That was a really exciting first Dongfeng Nissan Cup and I have no doubt this year's event will be just as close," Parkin said as the players started arriving for the tournament.

"Most of the guys will have played this year in warm weather, so it will be interesting to see how they cope with the cold and rain here."

The weather forecast for the rest of the week is around 22 degree celsius (72 degrees fahrenheit) with a more than 50 percent chance of thunderstorms every day, although it is expected to brighten up on the final afternoon.

"The course is in great condition and can handle a lot of rain," Parkin said.  "There isn't much threat of lightning, so we will be able to play through the rain. It is just a case of the greens being able to drain well enough, and I don't foresee a problem there."

The CTS Tycoon Club boasts 54 holes which are used in a variety of 18-hole combinations to offer an  experience ranging from a links-style British course to a tree-lined tropical track.

"We are doing a different combination this year but it ends with three great holes -- a par three, then two great par fours in a row," Parkin said of the 6,592-metre (7,209-yard) par 72 layout.

"If any match is going down to the wire, then this finishing combination will prove to be very testing and great for the spectators and TV."

The Asia-Pacific side is led again by the legendary Peter Thomson, a five time Open Championship winner and the first Australian to be inducted in world golf's Hall of Fame.

He will be assisted by player/vice-captain Scott Laycock in melding a team drawn from eight nations into a cohesive unit to take part in three day's of four ball, foursomes and singles matches.

Team China, may of whom already play together as part of the country's national Olympic squad, will be led  for a second time by Wang Jun, Secretary-General of the China PGA and former chairman of the state investment company CITIC.

His vice-captains are Cheng Jun, Pang Zheng and Li Qinghua, while the team is coached by Xu Xiaoming and Feng Wenhui.

China: Liang Wenchong, Zhang Lianwei, Zhang Xinjun, Yuan Hao, Han Ren, Wu Weihuang, Jin Daxing, Zhou Guowu, Ouyang Zheng, Yuan Tian, Wu Kangchun, Guan Tianlang (A)

Asia-Pacific:  Scott Laycock and Andre Stolz (Australia), Michael Long and Mark Brown (New Zealand), Soushi Tajima and Yosuke Tsukada (Japan), Jason Kang and Choi Jin-ho (Korea), Wisut Artjanawat (Thailand), Rory Hie (Indonesia), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Choo Tze Huang (Singapore)