The Hong Kong Open, one of the Asian Tour’s most iconic golf tournaments steeped in rich history, will make its long-awaited return this year to its traditional home the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC), in Fanling, and in a landmark development will be part of the burgeoning International Series.
The tournament, which is the oldest professional sporting event in Hong Kong, will offer a lucrative purse of US$2 million and will be played on the HKGC’s acclaimed Composite Course from November 9-12.
The famous venue was the scene of one of Hong Kong’s greatest sporting moments at the weekend when Taichi Kho triumphed in the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club to become the first player from Hong Kong to win on the Asian Tour. The event marked the return of international tournament golf to the Special Administrative Region of China for the first time in 38 months and was especially significant as the hugely impressive Kho was announced as an ambassador for the club during the week.
Wade Ormsby, who sits second in the International Series Order of Merit, courtesy of his victory at the International Series Thailand just three weeks ago, was the last player to win the Hong Kong Open, in January of 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a premature conclusion. The Australian also claimed the event in 2017.
The 42-year-old, who has stated his aim to tee-up in all 10 of the International Series events in 2023 in pursuit of a return to the LIV Golf League, said: “To have a crack around a course I’ve had success at is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Australians have enjoyed a rich vein of success at the Hong Kong Open, producing more winners than any other nation, with fellow antipodean victors including golf legends Greg Norman, Peter Thomson, and Kel Nagle plus Scott Hend, who is tied third for the most Asian Tour wins of all time with 10 victories.
Past champions from further afield include Major winners Rory McIlroy (NIR), Justin Rose (ENG), Padraig Harrington (IRE), Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP), Bernhard Langer (GER), Ian Woosnam (WAL), and Orville Moody (USA).
The Hong Kong Open has been a pre-eminent event on the Asian Tour for decades and was first held in 1959. The HKGC has staged every edition.
Andy Kwok, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club , said: “This event has a proud history of welcoming golf’s leading talents from around the world, and in that sense shares values with The International Series, the expanded entry criteria for which makes this a compelling proposition for tour players around the world.”
Rahul Singh, Head of the International Series, said: “The International Series is an exciting new initiative, but part of its success has been its ability to build relationships with historic tournaments and events like the Hong Kong Open and the Hong Kong Golf Club.
“The International Series offers life-changing pathways for players and with the Hong Kong Open scheduled at the ‘business end’ of the year it will play a vital role in deciding which players make the coveted top 32 and qualify for the LIV Promotions Event.”
The International Series, introduced last year through a landmark investment by LIV Golf, sits within the Asian Tour schedule and has already seen three events this season in the Middle East and Thailand with the next tournament scheduled in April in Vietnam.
Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour, said: “The Hong Kong Open’s return and its positioning as an International Series event is outstanding and adds another exciting dimension to the 2023 season, which has enjoyed such a successful start.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody at the Hong Kong Golf Association and the Hong Kong Golf Club for their support and we cannot wait to have yet another memorable Hong Kong Open in November.”