Spanish star Sergio Garcia is on a mission to win the inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open which tees off at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course tomorrow.
The World No 12, who is the highest ranked golfer in the Asian Tour tournament, made a grand entrance at the award-winning Greg Norman-designed venue yesterday, stepping out elegantly from a helicopter ride in a full tuxedo ala James Bond style. Apart from having the licence to thrill golf fans at Vietnam’s biggest sporting event, the 35-year-old Garcia, who holds 22 Tour victories including four in Asia, will be seeking to end his year with a first title of the year.
He will face a strong line-up of stars led by Major champions Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Y.E. Yang of Korea and Australian Geoff Ogilvy while Jeev Milkha Singh of India will be amongst the 40 Tour winners including Scott Hend of Australia, Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Malaysia’s Danny Chia fighting for the Ho Tram Open title.
Garcia is determined to finish the year on a high note to set himself up for a big season ahead in 2016 which includes the Ryder Cup and Olympic Games. He also lavished praise on The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, which was recently named the World’s Best New Course at the World Golf Awards in Portugal recently.
“The hotel looks really nice. I took a view of the course from a helicopter ride in (from Ho Chi Minh city) and it looks really nice. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hilly because everything else looks flat here. It is going to be nice to have a good look today (in the pro-am), get some notes and be ready for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting over my jetlag and getting more sleep. I want to be as fresh as possible for the whole week,” said the Spaniard.
Four top-10s and two tied 11th finishes in Asia last month have been amongst Garcia’s season highlights but he knows wrapping up 2015 with a title will be a good boost for the year ahead. “Next year is a massive year. It is the Ryder Cup, which is very important to all of us including me. We have the Olympics and four Majors. There are a lot of great things happening. It has the potential to be an amazing year,” said Garcia.
“We represent our countries everywhere we go but we never had to possibility to do it at the Olympic Games. I’m really excited at the possibility of being an Olympian and meeting some of the other athletics. It is a great opportunity and a massive year,” he added.
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style layout located two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City has been hailed by many of the world’s leading authorities on golf. Last month it was named the World’s Best New Course at the World Golf Awards ceremony in Portugal.
For more information about the Ho Tram Open including player bios and sponsorship options, visit www.hotramopen.com.