Hong Kong: Reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed and 2017 Green Jacket winner Sergio Garcia will join world number 11 Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Wade Ormsby at the Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi.
To take place from November 22-25, the opening event of the European Tour’s 2019 Race to Dubai will once more be staged at the venerable Hong Kong Golf Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Reed made his Major breakthrough at Augusta National in April. The 28-year-old also played a starring role in helping Team USA regain the Ryder Cup in 2016, earning the nickname ‘Captain America’, and will again be pivotal in their quest to retain the trophy at Le Golf National in France next week.
“I’m excited to play at the Honma Hong Kong Open,” said Reed. “It’s a fantastic week and an incredible city. The people are friendly and so hospitable, it makes for such a great experience for players. Hong Kong Golf Club is such a great golf course, I really enjoyed playing it in my previous two visits and I hope to play really well, have some fun and be in the mix late on Sunday.”
Garcia, the 2017 Masters Champion and 14-time European Tour winner, finished tied-19th on his debut last year. The Spaniard, who will make his ninth Ryder Cup appearance in France, is seeking to add his name to the prestigious list of past winners which includes fellow countrymen Miguel Angel Jiménez and José María Olazábal, as well as Major champions Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose.
“Playing in Hong Kong last year was a great way to kick-start my season on the European Tour and I had a fantastic time exploring the city. It has such an electric atmosphere,” said Garcia. “There are so many great past champions and I would love to add my name to that illustrious list.”
Fleetwood, the 2017 Race to Dubai champion, will make his third appearance at the tournament on a course that the Englishman clearly enjoys, having finished in sixth place last year and third in 2016.
The 27-year-old is enjoying another impressive campaign on the European Tour as he bids to retain his Race to Dubai title. In January, he defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EDGA crown and recorded his best result in a Major championship when he finished runner up to Brooks Koepka at the US Open after a stunning final round 63 at Shinnecock Hills. Fleetwood will make his Ryder Cup debut as one of Thomas Bjørn’s European rookies at Le Golf National.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing the Honma Hong Kong Open in the past two years. It is definitely a course that suits my eye. I feel really comfortable in my game there and hopefully I can go a couple better after the decent results I’ve had the last two years.”
Ormsby prevailed from a dramatic final day to claim his maiden European Tour title, with the 37-year-old finally entering the winners’ circle in his 264th Tour event.
“To win my first European Tour title last year in Hong Kong was incredible,” said Ormsby. “Having played a lot of golf in Europe and around the world, it was amazing to get my first win at such a prestigious event, and I’m really excited to defend my title in the coming months.”
The Honma Hong Kong Open is also one of the last few events remaining on the 2018 Asian Tour season and will play an important role in determining who tops the Habitat for Humanity standings.
Liu Jianguo, Chairman of Honma, said: “We’re excited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Honma, as well as the Honma Hong Kong Open, with some of the world’s best golfers. Masters champions Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia, along with Tommy Fleetwood and Wade Ormsby, all bring a unique quality to this event. The atmosphere is going to be electric when these players battle it out in this tournament.”
Dr Peter Lam, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said: “The Honma Hong Kong Open is among the most important annual sports events on Hong Kong’s tourism calendar. Each year, elite golfers from around the world gather in Hong Kong to compete for the champion title.
“Golfers and fans from overseas not only get four days of world-class competitive play during their stay in Hong Kong; they also get to experience the diverse tourism offerings of Asia’s world city. With centuries of history and a rich living culture on display, Hong Kong showcases both exciting sports events that appeal to visitors of all interests and a wealth of unique experiences for them to appreciate.”
Martin Hadaway, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “To have the past two Masters champions coming to the Hong Kong Golf Club, as well as the 2017 Race to Dubai Champion Tommy Fleetwood and Wade Ormsby, is fantastic. We wish all the players in the Honma Hong Kong Open field the best of luck.”
Meanwhile, Amundi Asset Management has been confirmed as Presenting Partner of the Honma Hong Kong Open. This marks the return of Amundi to the Hong Kong Open, having been a Premier Partner from 2013 to 2015 for the city’s longest-running sporting event, which is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour, as well as the Hong Kong Golf Association.
Singapore: The spotlight will return to conditioning of golf course putting surfaces when the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Sustainability Series of webinars continues next week.