Hong Kong: Major champions Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed will tee it up at next month’s Hong Kong Open, the opening event of the European Tour’s 2020 Race to Dubai.
The 61st edition of the venerable tournament will take place from November 28 to December 1 over the revered fairways of the Hong Kong Golf Club, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.
World number 11 Molinari returns to the world-famous Fanling venue for the first time in 10 years following a remarkable run of success on the European Tour in 2018, in which he secured a first Rolex Series title at the BMW PGA Championship, a maiden Major victory at The 147th Open Championship and played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup win in France – claiming five points from five matches.
The 36-year-old rounded off a memorable year by becoming the first Italian to win the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, holding off Masters champion Reed and 2017 Race to Dubai Champion Tommy Fleetwood to finish the year as the European Tour’s number one.
The Italian’s most memorable appearance in Hong Kong came in 2008 when he and Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy lost in a play-off to Lin Wen-tang.
“I have good memories from the Hong Kong Open and it’s certainly the goal to go one better this time around,” said Molinari, a six-time European Tour winner. “It will be a great way to kick off my 2020 Race to Dubai campaign, hopefully getting some points on the board early in the season, and to play a world-renowned course. It is always an enjoyable week on Tour.”
World number 17 Reed will be making his fourth appearance in Hong Kong’s longest running professional sporting event having played in the event in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
The 29-year-old won the Northern Trust on the PGA Tour in August. Having finished tied fourth in this year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Reed will be seeking his first regular European Tour victory in Hong Kong.
“It’s great coming back to play the Hong Kong Open,” said Reed. “The European Tour truly allows us to be global players and this event in Hong Kong is another opportunity for us to showcase what we can do around the world.”
The event will also play a decisive role in shaping the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings as it is one of the last tournaments on the 2019 schedule.
William Doo Jr, Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “The addition of Francesco and Patrick to the field is wonderful news for the championship’s fans. We look forward to welcoming them both to Hong Kong and our club in just a few weeks’ time.
“Together with Henrik Stenson, these three Major winners will add star-quality to a fantastic week of world-class golf at one of Asia’s most historic tournaments.”
Kenneth Lam, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, added: “It is great for the development and growth of golf in Hong Kong for local fans to have the opportunity to watch Major winners in action.”
Tickets are available to purchase via Ticketflap –https://www.ticketflap.com/thehongkongopen2019
The tournament is free for all to attend on the first two days (November 28-29). Under 21s go free for all four tournament days. For more information see www.thehongkongopen.com
The Hong Kong Open has been recognised as an ‘M’ Mark event to help enhance the image of Hong Kong. ‘M’ Mark is awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolising an intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory’s sporting calendar.