Padraig Harrington has backed the decision to make the HSBC Champions a World Golf Championship event.

The Dubliner will battle an elite field featuring Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia at Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club from November 5-8.

Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods will be in Shanghai in NovemberStill seeking his first WGC title, Harrington said: “I think this is an excellent decision by the International Federation of PGA Tours. The HSBC Champions established itself immediately on the players’ schedules and has got better and better every year.”

The triple major winner has a solid record in the event which will see its prize fund balloon from $5 million to $7 million (Euro 3.8 million to Euro 5.3 million) this year.

He was 15th on his debut at Sheshan International in 2005, sixth in 2006 and fifth in 2007 before coming in tied for 11th last November.

And he knows that this year’s event will be crucial to his bid to become the first winner of the European Tour’s mega-rich Race to Dubai.

The top 60 on the European Tour money list will qualify for the $10 million (Euro 7.6 million) Dubai World Championship climax, which will be held just two weeks after the HSBC Champions.

But that's only the start of the cash carve up for the world's top pros.

The top 15 money winners after the season-ending event will then split a $10 millon (Euro 7.6 million) bonus pool with the possibility that one player could walk away with a cheque for US$3.66 million (Euro 2.8 million) if he wins the Dubai World Championship event and the Race to Dubai money title.

World No 1 Woods will not be walking away with the cash this time unless he joins the European Tour this year - a move he has already ruled out.

But he is keen to add to his amazing haul of 15 WGC titles from just 31 starts since 1999 - three Accenture Matchplays, six CA Championships and six Bridgestone Invitationals.

Woods already has 14 major titles and world No 3 Garcia, still waiting for his major breakthrough, believes the HSBC Champions is on its way to major status.

Winner of the title in Shanghai last November, Garcia said: “The tournament certainly has a very special feeling and many of the players already referred to it as Asia’s Major. Now there is no doubt about it. It is officially recognised as being a cut above the rest.”

The event will have a mazimum field of 78 players with winners of this year's majors and World Golf Championship joined by selected tournament champions from around the globe.

The winner of the 3 Irish Open will earn his place but Portuguese Open winner Michael Hoey is on a waiting list because of the weak field in Estoril.