Singapore Open On Course For A Major Challenge
Asian Tour Chief Executive Louis Martin said the award-winning Serapong course would be at its prime condition to challenge the region's stars plus a sprinkling of world-class names led by world number seven Adam Scott and Europe's Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
"Sentosa Golf Club has taken tremendous initiatives in preparing its Serapong course for what will be Singapore's biggest sporting extravaganza. The course and the set-up is simply awesome and it will set a new benchmark for other tournaments to emulate," said Martin today.
"Preparation work started early this year and over the last few months, the condition of the course has peaked to its optimum. Serapong has been closed since August 21 and we are completing the final phase of preparation. The venue will contribute immensely towards a great championship and there is already a certain feel of the Singapore Open being a truly MAJOR event."
After a lapse of three years, the Singapore Open is returning with a bang by offering a record prize purse. The Championship, which is celebrating its 42nd edition, is also an Asian Tour full-field event.
Australians Craig Parry and Nick O'Hern will also head to Singapore next week along with the Asian Tour's finest players, including the likes Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant, Jyoti Randhawa, Zhang Lian-wei and Lin Keng-chi.
The Singapore Open is part of Sentosa's US$5 billion strategy to make the island resort into a world-class destination. Sentosa has also struck a deal to host the Forbes Global CEO Conference to be held alongside the Open from 2006, which will create a unique blend of business and golf and help draw the world’s opinion leaders and international media to Sentosa.
To enhance its championship credentials, organisers have swapped the nines at Serapong and turned the par five 12th hole into a treacherous par four 490-yard challenge.
Players will also find the Serapong rough a stern challenge as organisers have left it to grow to approximately 10cm in height, deep enough to severely punish errant drives and approach shots. The greens will run at around 10.5 feet on the stimpmeter.
"The rough will be one of the main defences at Serapong. We have encouraged rough growth over the last three months to make sure that players pay the penalty if they miss a drive or an iron shot," said Martin.
"With a US$2 million purse, the Asian Tour and Sentosa share the belief that the champion should be the player who produces the best golf during the week, and that means displaying a solid all-round display. With that in mind, the course has been set up to ensure a great challenge to the players.
"I believe we have succeeded in creating a MAJOR feel for the Singapore Open and we want the contenders to come down the closing stretch of holes knowing very well that they cannot make a mistake by missing the fairway or green in regulation. By swapping the nines, the closing hole will now be a par-five which sets up the possibility of a thrilling finish."
The winner next week will take home a cool US$315,000 cheque, the largest ever for a full field Asian Tour event.
Notes to Editors:
The Business of Golf
In keeping with the island resort’s US$5 billion strategy to become a world-class destination, Sentosa has given The Singapore Open a permanent home on its stunning Serapong course. With the Forbes Global CEO Conference to be held alongside the Open from 2006, a unique blend of business and golf is set to draw the world’s opinion leaders to Sentosa.
For more information, visit http://www.singaporeopen.org/
Just minutes from the city, Singapore’s 500-hectare premier resort island offers leisure, recreational and residential facilities under a canopy of secondary rainforest. Sentosa island is also home to monitor lizards, monkeys, peacocks, parrots and other native fauna and flora. The island attracts about 5 million visitors annually and is currently undergoing a US$5 billion rejuvenation plan that will refresh its appeal, facilitate convenient public access and boast a new US$1billion international family-style resort by 2009.
For more information, visit http://www.sentosa.com/