Ho Tram, Vietnam: Darren Clarke will be the headline act at the inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open.
Clarke, who has won 22 tournaments worldwide – including the 2011 Open Championship – and participated in seven Ryder Cups, cited the increasing popularity of golf in Vietnam and the vision of Ho Tram Strip as reasons for wanting to compete in the event on Vietnam’s spectacular south-central coast.
To take place from December 3-6, the venue for the Asian Tour tournament is Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation [AGIF].
“All I keep hearing is that the resort and golf course are nothing short of world-class,” said Clarke, who will captain Europe’s Ryder Cup team next year.
“When I heard more about what the promoters were looking to achieve, it made the decision even easier. It’s going to be a great week for everybody with plenty of good golf, excitement and entertainment.”
Clarke was unveiled in the event’s creative campaign with the theme ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage’ – carved out from the resorts unwavering commitment to five-star hospitality and its reputation as Vietnam’s epicentre for entertainment.
“We did have some fun with the photo-shoot,” said Clarke. “I don’t need too much persuading to get the dinner jacket out, which will be making the journey to Vietnam having heard more about the entertainment plans.”
Event officials will spare no expense on keeping guests, players, VIPs and sponsors engrossed throughout the championship week.
“We are in the entertainment business and that is exactly what we are going to bring to the Ho Tram Open,” said Shaun McCamley, President of The Ho Tram Strip. “It’s going to be an unforgettable week on and off the golf course, and one to circle on the calendar, year after year.”
Clarke will be joined by a field of 144 players – including two-time European Tour winner and Bluffs ambassador Robert Rock – that will vie for a purse that is among the largest up for grabs on the Asian Tour calendar this season.
“It’s testament to the vision of our ownership group to invest in a headline event at Ho Tram, given Vietnam’s surging economy and escalating local appetite for blockbuster events,” said Ben Styles, Vice President Golf and Residential Development, Ho Tram Strip, which includes the Greg Norman-designed Bluffs and the 541-room Grand luxury resort and casino. “We have a three-year event strategy dedicated to creating one of Vietnam’s most historic sporting and social occasions.”
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style layout two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City has been widely hailed.
Promoted by Troon Golf, the world’s largest golf management company and an Executive Member of the AGIF, the event is being billed as ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage,’ a tagline that is resonating loudly with leading businesses in the Asia-Pacific region including Vietnam.
“With Darren (Clarke) and Robert (Rock) in the fold, we’re in an exciting position,” said Styles. “We have secured some great partners to the event, who have been hugely supportive of the event vision and how it will positively impact their businesses. We look forward to sharing further announcements from our confirmed list of headline players and additional news around the event in due course.”
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