The UBS Hong Kong Open will be among the headline opening acts on the 2017 European Tour and the closing events on the 2016 Asian Tour season after tournament organisers announced the date of December 8-11, 2016.
Won by Englishman Justin Rose last November, the UBS Hong Kong Open will return to the Hong Kong Golf Club for the territory’s longest-running professional sporting event, which was established in 1959 and has been staged at the iconic Fanling venue since its inception.
Tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, the UBS Hong Kong Open will carry a prize purse of US$2 million.
Amy Lo, Country Head for UBS, Hong Kong Branch, said: “Throughout our sponsorship of the UBS Hong Kong Open we have sought not only to raise the profile of the city’s oldest sporting event but also to promote golf throughout the community in Hong Kong. This year, we have arranged a number of exciting initiatives which will allow us to engage not only with clients and employees but also with the wider community.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “I’m delighted with the news that the UBS Hong Kong will be part of our early 2017 schedule and we thank title sponsor UBS along with our partners at the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, for their continued commitment to the tournament.
“I have said on many occasions that diversity is our strength and to have a tournament in such a vibrant location as Fanling in Hong Kong is a perfect example of that. In addition, the stature of the champions since the tournament became part of the Tour schedule in 2002 is testament to the quality of the golf course and we all look forward to seeing who will be next to lift the trophy.”
Kyi Hla Han, Commissioner, Asian Tour, said: “Due to its history and tradition, the UBS Hong Kong Open is revered as one the most prestigious golf championships in Asia. The tournament will play a major role in determining the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit race at the end of our season which I’m sure will once again provide the excitement and drama so often associated with the UBS Hong Kong Open.
“Our continued partnership with The European Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association at the UBS Hong Kong Open will ensure the tournament continues to attract top golf stars from all over the world to entertain the local galleries who have been extremely supportive of the game over the years.”
Mark Chan, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: “We look forward to working with the Asian and European Tours to deliver another exciting edition of our national open at the Hong Kong Golf Club in December.
“The UBS Hong Kong Open is one of Asia’s great sporting events, and so important to the growth of golf in Hong Kong, and we look forward to another chapter in its rich history in December. We also place on record our thanks and appreciation to UBS and all of our supporting sponsors and suppliers for their commitment to the UBS Hong Kong Open.”
Kenneth Lam, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “Hosting the UBS Hong Kong Open is one of the highlights of the year for our Members and Officials, so we are delighted to have our date confirmed on the schedules of the European and Asian Tours.
“We look forward to presenting the Hong Kong Golf Club in excellent condition for many of the world’s best golfers, as well as welcoming both local and international visitors to our special Club. Having enjoyed record crowds for the 2015 edition of the tournament and we hope to build on this success in December.”
The UBS Hong Kong Open boasts an impressive roll of honour, with past champions including Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson and, more recently, José Maria Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiménez and current champion Rose.