HONG KONG, 13 Sept 2018, (HK Golfer News Wire) - The reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed and the 2017 Green Jacket winner Sergio Garcia will join World Number 11 Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Wade Ormsby at the Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi from November 22-25, 2018, in the opening event of the European Tour’s 2019 Race to Dubai.
Reed held off a charging Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to make his Major breakthrough in April this year and win the coveted Green Jacket after a dramatic final day at Augusta National. The American entered the final round with a three-shot lead but engaged in an enthralling battle with his two countrymen on the back nine, signing for a 71 to finish at 15 under and beat Fowler by a single shot.
The 28-year-old also played a starring role in helping Team USA regain The Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in 2016, earning the nickname ‘Captain America’, and will again be pivotal in their quest to retain the trophy in just a few weeks’ time at Le Golf National in France.
"I’m really excited to play at the Honma Hong Kong Open,” said Reed. “It’s a fantastic week and an incredible city. The people are friendly and so hospitable, it makes for such a great experience for players. Hong Kong Golf Club is such a great golf course, I really enjoyed playing it in my previous two visits and I hope to play really well, have some fun and be in the mix late on Sunday.”
Garcia, the 2017 Masters Champion and 14-time European Tour winner, finished tied 19th on his debut last year. The Spaniard is set to make his ninth Ryder Cup appearance this year in France, however he is also excited by the prospect of adding his name to the prestigious list of past winners which includes fellow countrymen Miguel Angel Jiménez and José María Olazábal, as well as Major Champions Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose.
“Playing in Hong Kong last year was a great way to kick start my season on the European Tour and I had a fantastic time exploring the city, it has such an electric atmosphere,” said Garcia. “There are so many great past champions and I would love to add my name to that illustrious list, so I am looking forward to coming back in a few months’ time to challenge again.”
Fleetwood, the 2017 Race to Dubai champion, will make his third appearance at the tournament on a course that the Englishman clearly enjoys, having finished in sixth place last year and third in 2016.
The 27-year-old is enjoying another impressive campaign on the European Tour as he bids to retain his Race to Dubai title. In January, he defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EDGA crown and recorded his best result in a Major Championship when he finished runner up to Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open after a stunning final round 63 at Shinnecock Hills. Fleetwood is now poised to make his Ryder Cup debut as one of Thomas Bjørn’s European rookies at Le Golf National in September.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing the Honma Hong Kong Open in the past two years. It is definitely a course that suits my eye. I feel really comfortable in my game there and hopefully I can go a couple better after the decent results I’ve had the last two years.”
Ormsby prevailed from a dramatic final day to claim his maiden European Tour title, with the 37 year old finally entering the winners’ circle in his 264th tour event at Fanling, and now the Australian will prepare to defend a title on the European circuit for the first time.
“To win my first European Tour title last year in Hong Kong was incredible,” said Ormsby. “It really meant a lot to me. Having played a lot of golf in Europe and around the world, it was amazing to get my first win at such a prestigious event, and I’m really excited to defend my title in the coming months.”
Liu Jianguo, Chairman of Honma, said: “We’re excited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of HONMA, as well as the Honma Hong Kong Open with some of the world’s best golfers. Masters Champions Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia, along with Tommy Fleetwood and Wade Ormsby, all bring a unique quality to this event, and the atmosphere is certainly going to be electric in Hong Kong when these players battle it out in this prestigious tournament.”
Dr Peter Lam, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said: “The Honma Hong Kong Open is among the most important annual sports events on Hong Kong's tourism calendar. Each year, elite golfers from around the world gather in Hong Kong to compete for the champion title. Golfers and fans from overseas not only get four days of world-class competitive play during their stay in Hong Kong; they also get to experience the diverse tourism offerings of Asia's world city. With centuries of history and a rich living culture on display, Hong Kong showcases both exciting sports events that appeal to visitors of all interests and a wealth of unique experiences for them to appreciate.”
Martin Hadaway, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “To have the past two Masters Champions in Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia coming to the Hong Kong Golf Club, as well as the 2017 Race to Dubai Champion Tommy Fleetwood and Wade Ormsby, who played so well to win his first European Tour title last year is fantastic. We wish all of the players in the Honma Hong Kong Open field the best of luck.”
In further exciting news for the tournament, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Amundi Asset Management has today been confirmed as Presenting Partner of the Honma Hong Kong Open. This marks the return of Amundi to the Hong Kong Open, having been a Premier Partner from 2013 to 2015 for the city’s longest-running sporting event, which is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour, as well as the Hong Kong Golf Association.
Zhong Xiaofeng, CEO North Asia, Amundi Hong Kong Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to once again partner with the Hong Kong Open in 2018 and we are thrilled to work together with all the partners to make this year’s event a very special occasion.”