Olympic Medallists Set for New Year Sentosa Showdown

Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar will be aiming to get their hands on the SMBC Singapore Open trophy. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Lagardére Sports.

Singapore: Olympic golfing medallists Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar will renew their rivalries at next year’s US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open.

England’s Rose (gold), Swede Stenson (silver) and American Kuchar (bronze) wrote their names into golf’s history books with their medal-winning efforts at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

At the beginning of a year that will see the summer Olympics staged in Tokyo, the Ryder Cup trio will be seeking more success over the award-winning Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

For the fifth successive season, the SMBC Singapore Open (January 16-19) will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation.

Ross Tan, President of the Singapore Golf Association, said: “The SMBC Singapore Open has attracted many world-class players over the years but it is fair to say the 2020 edition will be an extra special tournament with the calibre of players competing and their list of achievements.

“We look forward to welcoming them to Singapore for what is one of the biggest and most important golf tournaments in Asia. It is also the perfect way to start a year when the Olympics returns to Asia.”

Rose and Stenson have played in Singapore’s national Open before – Rose tied for ninth in 2011 and Stenson missed the cut the same year. This will mark the first time Kuchar has competed in the Lion City.

Rose became golf’s first Olympic champion since 1904 when he struck gold in Rio. He also made history when he recorded the first hole-in-one in Olympic golf.

Rose was tied with playing partner Stenson going into the final hole at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio, but secured victory by making birdie. Stenson three-putted for a bogey to finish two off the lead while Kuchar was a stroke further back.

Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy, Sentosa Golf Club, said: “The SMBC Singapore Open is one of the first tournaments of the year in world golf and what an exciting line-up of players we can look forward to watching next year. There can be no better venue to stage such an eye-catching event than Sentosa Golf Club and the holiday island of Sentosa.

“Sentosa has staged Singapore’s national Open since 2005 and we are proud the tournament has grown to become one of the region’s showpiece events that draws the finest players in the game.”

Rose enjoyed his most successful season to date last year by winning the FedEx Cup and claiming the number one spot on the Official World Golf Ranking – both for the first time.

Winner of the 2013 US Open, he has claimed 11 titles on the European Tour and 10 on the PGA Tour. The 39-year-old is currently ranked fourth in the world.

Stenson, world ranked 34th, also has one Major to his name, The Open championship in 2016 – the year he claimed the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. In 2013, he made history by winning both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai titles, the first player to win both, and to do so in the same season.

Henrik Stenson will be among the main drawcards at Sentosa Golf Club in January. Picture by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

The Swede famously partnered Rose in the Ryder Cup in 2018, winning both their foursomes matches. Stenson also triumphed in his singles game to go undefeated and help Europe reclaim the Cup.

Currently ranked 21stin the world, Kuchar is a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour and won the Money List in the States in 2010.

The 41-year-old has triumphed in some of the biggest tournaments in the game, including the Players Championship in 2012 and the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He has also finished in the top-10 at Majors on 12 occasions and been a regular in the Ryder Cup matches over the past decade.

“Golf fans in Singapore are in for special treat next year with Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar set to grace the fairways of Sentosa Golf Club,” said Patrick Feizal Joyce, Senior Vice President, Golf – Asia, Lagardère Sports, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“This is an exceptional line-up of star players, particularly as they were the medallists at the last Olympics. All three have won nearly every accolade in golf and are true ambassadors of the game, so it will be an outstanding start to the year for everyone involved!”

Thai Jazz Janewattananond was victorious at the SMBC Singapore Open at the start of this year. He held off challenges from world stars Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick, both from England, and is expected to be back to defend what will be the 54th staging of Singapore’s national Open.

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