Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Plans to turn the Ho Tram Strip into one of Southeast Asia’s entertainment hotspots are set to gather pace following the phenomenal success of the inaugural Ho Tram Open.
Living upto its billing as ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage’, the US$1.5 million showcase enjoyed a fittingly dramatic climax with Sergio Garcia clinching victory at the second extra hole following a four-way play-off.
The Asian Tour event was held at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, recently named as ‘The World’s Best New Golf Course’ and a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Sculpted by Greg Norman Course Design, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, the course was beautifully presented and received lavish praise.
As well as spectacular shot-making that saw three holes-in-one and a low round of 62 from Charlie Wi, the course stood up well to the examination of a field that included European Tour winners Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Robert Rock and Oliver Wilson.
In addition to top-quality action on the course, guests were treated to a variety of world-class entertainment, highlighted by a Fight Night and a concert by Brian McFadden, former frontman of Irish boy band Westlife.
Reflecting on a momentous week, Philip Falcone, Founder and Senior Managing Director, Harbinger Capital, said: “It fills me with immense pride to think how far we have come since we first laid eyes on our site at the Ho Tram Strip.
“We have been blessed by a visionary government whose willingness to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us has given us the conviction to move forward and dream big.
“Our ambition is to turn the Ho Tram Strip into one of the entertainment hotspots in Southeast Asia and attract guests from all over the globe to experience the world-famous Vietnamese hospitality and see first-hand our desire to entertain.
“We have entered a new era at the Ho Tram Strip – an era that will see our amenities grow, our guest experience amplify and our reputation as one of the world’s most exciting destinations cement itself.”
Michael Kelly, Executive Chairman of Asian Coast Development, added: “In the development of any major new destination there are landmark occasions and events that announce you to the world. For the Ho Tram Strip, the first week in December became a historic moment in Vietnam’s sporting and social calendar that catapulted our lively beachfront resort onto the world stage.
“Our location at the Ho Tram Strip has a bright future ahead of it and that is thanks to the collective efforts of so many. There is a belief among our leadership that we have unearthed one of Vietnam’s true treasures.
“The key to taking the most effective first step in promoting a destination is to give people a reason to say the words ‘Ho Tram’ and an understanding of what those words mean. In order to do so, you need a vehicle. Our vehicle is the Ho Tram Open.”
Ben Styles, Vice President of Golf and Residential, Ho Tram Strip, said: “This week was a celebration of Vietnam, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and the Ho Tram Strip.
“Events of this stature by design can shape and influence the economic impact for a region’s golf tourism and we believe the Ho Tram Open stands to elevate the global perception of Vietnam as a serious golf destination.”
In another positive development, Styles joined Vietnam Golf Association Secretary General Nguyen Van Hao to announce the launch of the Vietnam Junior Open at The Bluffs next year – a significant initiative in helping to grow the game in a country where golf is still very much in its infancy and currently boasts 36 courses.
According to Ho Tram Open promoter Jed Moore, more than 5,000 people attended the tournament during the course of the week. Based on the success of the event, that number is sure to swell when Garcia returns to defend his title next year.
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