Hong Kong: Masters champion Sergio Garcia will make his first appearance at the UBS Hong Kong Open in the opening event in the European Tour’s 2018 Race to Dubai.
The UBS Hong Kong Open will take place from November 23-26 at its traditional home, the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC), a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Arnold Wong, Captain of the HKGC, said: “To have the reigning Masters champion coming to the Hong Kong Golf Club is a great honour and we hope that Sergio and all of the players in the UBS Hong Kong Open field have a fantastic week at Fanling.
“As always, we look forward to working with all of our partners to deliver another outstanding edition of this great event.”
One of the last events on the 2017 Asian Tour season, it will play an important role in shaping the race for the Order of Merit crown.
Garcia made his Major-winning breakthrough in April when he defeated Justin Rose in a play-off at Augusta National to win the Green Jacket. Garcia began his journey to secure a Major title 18 years ago, finally achieving his ambition at the 74th attempt.
A 13-time European Tour winner, the 37-year-old has also played a pivotal role in helping Europe to six Ryder Cup victories between 1999 and 2017, one of which saw him act as Vice-Captain at Celtic Manor in 2010.
The Spaniard has applauded the Hong Kong Open’s policy of free entry for spectators on the first two days of play (November 23-24).
“It’s a great idea to give free entry to the tournament for the first two days,” said Garcia. “We want to grow the game and introduce new people to golf so hopefully we can put on a great show for the fans and inspire some new golfers to take up the game.
“I know from speaking to a lot of players on Tour that the UBS Hong Kong Open is a great tournament and I can’t wait to play the Hong Kong Golf Club. I hear the course is a brilliant layout that requires a lot of shot-making and imagination which should suit me a lot if I can play well.”
Tournament organisers are hoping to break last year’s record crowd of 46,000 spectators at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling for the city’s longest-running sporting event, which is co-sanctioned between the European and Asian Tours as well as the Hong Kong Golf Association.
Australian Sam Brazel will defend his title against Garcia and a host of other star names.
Amy Lo, Head of UBS Wealth Management Greater China and Country Head of UBS Hong Kong said: “We are excited to welcome Sergio Garcia for the first time. He is the latest in the long list of world-class players to participate in this prestigious tournament over the past 59 years. I am confident that his appearance will boost public interest in the tournament.”
Dr Peter Lam, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said: “We’re excited to see many of the world’s best golfers in action in Hong Kong again for the UBS Hong Kong Open. The HKTB has long been promoting Hong Kong’s diverse travel experiences, including sports and outdoors activities, to showcase the city’s vibrancy and dynamic appeal.
“With the strong line-up this year, I’m sure the UBS Hong Kong Open will enrich the city’s event portfolio and offer visitors a thrilling tournament. The HKTB fully supports this longest-standing professional sporting event and will continue to stage and support more international sports events in Hong Kong to consolidate the city’s position as Asia’s events capital.”
Harald van Heel, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: “We are once again delighted to be co-sanctioning our national Open with our friends from the European and Asian Tours and we naturally welcome the decision to allow all spectators free entry to the tournament during the first two days. Initiatives like this are vital in attracting a new generation of golfers and golf fans to our sport and we hope to see thousands of people enjoying the UBS Hong Kong Open in November.”
The UBS Hong Kong Open is an accredited event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The HKSAR Government and HKTB fully support the UBS HK Open.
To share the joy of the 20th anniversary, the HKSAR Government is joining hands with different sectors to organise a wide variety of activities and events under the theme ‘Together, Progress, Opportunity’.