Singapore: An eclectic mix of players from more than 20 countries will feature in next week’s inaugural World Classic Championship at Laguna National Golf and Country Club, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
The Asian Tour’s only stop in Singapore this season will see a 144-man field battle it out for a share of the US$750,000 prize fund on the World Classic course, also known as Asia’s Toughest Test.
A prominent golf club in the local and regional golf scene since its inauguration in 1993, Laguna National is undergoing a multi-million dollar facelift to develop a state-of-the-art union of a world-class golf club and a 208-room and villa branded hotel with full facilities including a spa, a driving range, a fitness centre, as well as member-exclusive areas.
No fewer than 35 Asian Tour winners, including four Order of Merit champions, will compete in the tournament which will see television highlights beamed around the world.
Reigning Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States has entered for the World Classic Championship along with Australian Scott Hend, ranked second on the current Order of Merit, and Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds an unprecedented 18 victories on the Asian Tour.
Indian SSP Chawrasia, Canadian Richard T. Lee, American Paul Peterson and Malaysia’s Danny Chia, all placed inside top-10 on the Merit list, will face off against a strong local challenge spearheaded by Mardan Mamat, who claimed his fifth Asian Tour victory in Bangladesh in May.
Chawrasia, ranked fourth on the money list, is looking forward to the World Classic Championship. “We played at Laguna last year and I had a look at the course. It looks very tricky. Everybody says it is very challenging. You need to know the course very well and it is one of a kind,” he said.
Malaysian Arie Irawan is also looking forward to taking on the World Classic Course.
“I like the golf course. It challenges you and it is a lot of fun. You definitely put more focus into your shots because the golf course looks very intimidating. You have to hit a good shot or you will be asking for trouble,” he said.
“I’ve played on the course and I remember shooting seven birdies on the back nine. Course knowledge is very important on this course. Some of the greens are very big greens so you need to know where to hit it,” added the 25-year-old.
Also in the fray are Asian Tour honorary member and Indian veteran Jeev Milkha Singh and Korean Charlie Wi, a former PGA Tour member and a seven-time winner on the Asian Tour.
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