HONG KONG, 11 Apr 2017, (HK Golfer News Wire) - The UBS Hong Kong Open will take on added significance later this year when the historic tournament marks the beginning of the 2018 European Tour season.
The event will be played at Hong Kong Golf Club from November 23-26, and will once again be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association.
The combined star power of the three golf bodies will once again gather with the hope of etching their name on the trophy alongside such luminaries as Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiménez, José María Olazábal, Rory McIlroy and Colin Montgomerie.
Not since December 2003 has the UBS Hong Kong Open taken its place as the first event of a European Tour season, when Padraig Harrington got his 2004 campaign off to a winning start.
The galleries at the Hong Kong Golf Club can also expect a gripping finale as the UBS Hong Kong Open is set to be one of the last events on the 2017 Asian Tour schedule where the leading Asian Tour players will be battling for the prestigious Order of Merit crown.
Last year, Sam Brazel claimed his maiden European Tour title in just his 17th appearance as the Australian upset the odds to secure a one-stroke victory over Spain’s 2016 Ryder Cup player Rafa Cabrera Bello. It was also his first Asian Tour title.
It was a dramatic final day worthy of the prestigious event - at one point during the back nine battle on Sunday, six players shared the lead, including Masters Champion Danny Willett and the current Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood. But it was Brazel who emerged victorious in thrilling fashion courtesy of a birdie at the last.
“UBS is delighted to be supporting the 59th annual UBS Hong Kong Open in November. With a reputation for dramatic finishes and a long list of prestigious champions in Hong Kong over the decades, we are confident of providing a thrilling opening to the European Tour season,” said Amy Lo, Head of UBS Wealth Management Greater China and Country Head of UBS Hong Kong.
Kenneth Lam, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “As host venue since its inauguration in 1959, the championship holds a very special place in the heart of our club. We have been delighted by the growth of the Hong Kong Open in recent times - we saw a record gallery of nearly 47,000 local and overseas fans over the four days last year - which has helped underline Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s World City. It promises to be another spectacular week of world-class golfing action.”
Harald Van Heel, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: “The Hong Kong Golf Association is proud to witness the Hong Kong Open evolve from a local tournament to become the marquee golfing event set firmly in the Hong Kong sporting calendar. With the funding support from sponsors and the Hong Kong Government the UBS Hong Kong Open is now one of the major attractions for
tourists. In 2017 we would like to bring the UBS Hong Kong Open closer to the Hong Kong people by bringing the community to the Open, showing that this is our tournament. A golf tournament that belongs to Hong Kong people.”