The UBS Hong Kong Open takes on added significance this season as the opening event of the 2017-2018 European Tour schedule.
The historic event – which dates back to 1959 – will be played at Hong Kong Golf Club from November 23-26, and will once again be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association.
Not since December 2003 has the UBS Hong Kong Open taken its place as the first event of a European Tour season, when Padraig Harrington got his campaign off to a winning start. The galleries at the Hong Kong Golf Club can also expect a gripping finale as the tournament is set to be one of the last events on the 2017 Asian Tour schedule where the leading players will be battling for the prestigious Order of Merit crown.
Last year, Sam Brazel claimed his maiden European Tour title in just his 17th appearance as the Australian upset the odds to secure a one-stroke victory over Spain’s Ryder Cup player Rafa Cabrera Bello. It was also his first Asian Tour title.
Ben Cowen, the European Tour’s Director of International Policy, said: “The UBS Hong Kong Open has been a permanent fixture on the European Tour for 16 seasons now so it is only fitting that it returns as the curtain-raiser for the 2018 season. This tournament proves the long-term success that can be achieved through collaboration and we are very much looking forward to once again working with our tri-sanctioning partners the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, as well as Hong Kong Golf Club, to provide another world-class event.”
Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour said: “The UBS Hong Kong Open always holds a special place on the Asian Tour Schedule. The tournament welcomed a worthy winner in Australia’s Sam Brazel last year and we’re confident this year’s edition will continue to excite as the region’s best players face off against a stellar international field at the Hong Kong Golf Club.”
Kenneth Lam, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “As host venue since its inauguration in 1959, the championship holds a very special place in the heart of our club. We have been delighted by the growth of the Hong Kong Open in recent times – we saw a record gallery of nearly 47,000 local and overseas fans over the four days last year – which has helped underline Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s World City. It promises to be another spectacular week of world-class golfing action.”
Harald Van Heel, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: With the funding support from sponsors and the Hong Kong Government, the UBS Hong Kong Open is now one of the major attractions for tourists. In 2017 we would like to bring the UBS Hong Kong Open closer to the Hong Kong people by bringing the community to the Open, showing that this is our tournament. A golf tournament that belongs to Hong Kong people.”