A decade traipsing around the globe as a touring golf professional has taught Gareth Paddison several tricks of the trade.

And he will pull one of them out of his bag next week if tournament organisers do him a favour and pair him with one of the star billings at the US$3 million ($3.8 million) China Open at Chengdu.

The 30-year-old Wellington left-hander would willingly hand over a small fee to ensure he plays the opening two rounds of the European Tour and OneAsia Tour co-sanctioned event in the company of the likes of multiple major winner Padraig Harrington or brilliant but erratic Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

For Paddison is not one to bow at the feet of reputation alone. He has rubbed elbows with enough star names in the past - such as Tom Watson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott - to fully appreciate the bright light of attention shone his way simply because he is playing alongside them.

On the contrary, he embraces the extra exposure and associated pressure that come with it, principally because it affords him the opportunity to watch closely how the glamour set operate.

"Just to watch how they score is the thing," Paddison said yesterday.

"Harrington, in particular, would be great to play with. I watched the British Open he won at Royal Birkdale a couple of years back and figured out that he was not hitting the ball any better than everyone else but he was scoring better than the others.

"Very rarely do you play in front of a big gallery and to be paired with those sorts of guys means there is a following and that does charge you up. You get nervous for the first hole or two but you get over that quickly. At the end of the day it is what you practise for and work so hard for."

Fresh from finishing third in last month's Indonesian Open, Paddison will be accompanied by a quiet confidence born of some compelling form when he boards a flight to China via Singapore today for a tournament also featuring fellow New Zealanders Mike Hendry, Michael Long and David Smail.

"A top-10 finish is what I'm aiming for. It's a good chance to test your game against the best because it's probably the strongest field I'll play in this year."

The China Open is being held at Luxehills International Country Club, the same venue at which Paddison finished 21st in his OneAsia debut last year in the Luxehills Chengdu Open.

"It's a low-scoring course but if they have grown the rough it will be a lot more tricky.

"I imagine the rough will be a lot longer for a European event and the fairways will be a must."

- NZPA