Stars Set To Shine At Sentosa In Singapore Open
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 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 and international media to Sentosa.
“Our goal is that the golf tournament becomes recognised as the ‘Open of Asia’ and that the Forbes event is seen as the ‘Davos of Asia[i]’. The fact that from next year they will be held together as one event on Sentosa will play an important role in attracting attention to this wonderful destination and present immense opportunities for Sentosa and Singapore,” said Graham Bell, board member of the Sentosa Leisure Group and Chairman of The Singapore Open.
Five of the World’s Top-60 at The Singapore Open.
After a three-year absence, The Singapore Open is bigger and better than before with five players from the world’s top-60 competing. The impressive line-up sets a new benchmark as one of the strongest national Opens ever played in Asia.
Rising Australian star Adam Scott, who is ranked seventh in the world, will headline an outstanding field to take on Sentosa’s Serapong championship course. Other stars coming to Singapore include Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke ranked 15th, England’s Lee Westwood ranked 36th , Australians Nick O’Hern and Craig Parry ranked 28th and 51st respectively.
Scott caused a stir this year when he triumphed in the Johnnie Walker Classic in China. The 25-year-old from Adelaide also claimed the Nissan Open this season for his fourth victory on the US PGA Tour.
Along with Scott, Parry has also tasted victory this year, earning the nickname “Popeye” as he used his huge forearms to lift the Heineken Classic in Australia. He is also no stranger to Asia, having won the Indonesia Open in 1997 as is Westwood, a former winner of the Malaysian and Macau Opens.
Asian stars competing include Japan’s golf legend Isao Aoki, the only Japanese golfer to win titles on six different tours and the first Japanese man to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and the current Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant from Thailand – winner of The Singapore Open when it was last played in 2001.
With a full field of 144 players, the Asian Tour event will also see other notable names including Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Jeev Milkha Singh, Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris and Scott Barr and South Africa’s James Kingston.
Grooming Local Talent
In an effort to groom local talent, a total of six amateurs will qualify for The Singapore Open on the basis of their performance in the Singapore Amateur Open which finishes tomorrow. The leading two Singapore finishers will qualify for the Singapore Open, while the other four will be selected by the President of the Singapore Golf Association.
“We’re thrilled to have attracted some of the world’s best players and to offer this opportunity to local talent on Sentosa. The island’s redevelopment is well underway and once complete, Sentosa will be counted among the world’s top destinations,” said Darrell Metzger, Chief Executive Officer, Sentosa Leisure Group. “As the Open grows in reputation and stature alongside the Forbes Global CEO Conference, it will play an important role in commanding global attention as we host leaders from the worlds of golf and business.”
Notes to Editors:
The Singapore Open was last held in 2001 but the corporate sector has rallied round to ensure the resurrection of the blue riband event which was first played in 1961. In addition to Sentosa, The Singapore Open has attracted support from corporate partners Mercedes Benz, Shangri-la, Singapore Airlines, Tiger Beer and Forbes. Other partners include Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Pools.
The 42nd Singapore Open marks the first the time the Open has been held on Sentosa’s par-71 Serapong championship layout. Designed by leading golf architect Ronald Fream, it measures 6,349 metres from the championship tees and will pose a severe test for the players.
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant won the last Singapore Open title in 2001 and among other recent victors was American Shaun Micheel, the 1998 champion who went on to lift one of golf's Majors, the US PGA Championship, in 2003.
Advanced tickets for a four day pass costs S$100 and can be purchased from selected Royal Sporting House outlets or the Sentosa Golf Club. Alternatively visitors can also buy a single day ticket at the gate for S$20 on Thursday, 8 September or Friday, 9 September and S$50 on Saturday, 10 September or Sunday, 11 September. For more information, visit http://www.singaporeopen.org/.