Laguna National Golf and Country Club in Singapore was today named as the new venue for The Championship from May 1-4, 2014.
It marks a return to the island country for The European Tour and the Asian Tour, which co-sanctioned the Singapore Masters there in the six years between 2002 and 2007 and the Singapore Open from 2009 to 2012.
It also marks a return of top level professional golf to the Masters Course at Laguna National, an Andy Dye design which has regularly been ranked among the top courses in the world by Golf Digest International and Asian Golf Monthly, and one which has garnered a host of awards through the years.
The Championship at Laguna National – formerly the Ballantine’s Championship – was originally scheduled to be played in Korea next month but when staging issues made it clear that was not going to be possible, tournament organisers acted quickly and decisively to move the tournament to Singapore.
As originally planned, a field of 156 players will battle it out for the lion’s share of a US$1.5 million prize fund, while television pictures of the spectacular Laguna National Golf and Country Club will be beamed to a potential television audience of over 450 million homes in 60 countries. The field will consist of players from Europe, Asia, Korea and Singapore.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce that The Championship will be played at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club in Singapore, a venue we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with in the past and one that I know our members will enjoy returning to next month.
“It shows the strength of our relationship with Laguna National that they have been able to help us out at relatively short notice and we would therefore like to put on record our thanks to owner Peter Kwee and all his staff for their assistance.”
Kyi Hla Han, Chairman, Asian Tour, said: “It is wonderful news that The Championship will now be staged at Laguna National. Singapore golf fans will enjoy having a major tournament back in the country and we look forward to co-sanctioning it with The European Tour. It will be fantastic for the finest players from both Tours to compete alongside Singapore’s best golfers once again.”
Peter Kwee, owner of Laguna National Golf and Country Club, said:“We have always valued our relationship with The European Tour, The Asian Tour and PMG, and are pleased to pledge our support for the event. Our expansion and upgrading plans, which are now underway, include a five-star branded resort hotel and full upgrading of the clubhouse and amenities. Nurturing and hosting of a European Tour event is a significant part of our long term commitment to growth at the Club.”
David Ciclitira, Chairman of tournament promoters Parallel Media Group, said: “I would like to thank Laguna National Golf and Country Club for its tremendous support. We look forward to working with Laguna National again to hold the event on their fantastic golf course and hope this marks a new era of professional golf, at its highest level, in Singapore. Further event sponsors will be announced shortly.
With the Championship aiming to return to Korea in2015, the event continues to feature both Korean players and to be extensively broadcast in Korea."
This year’s champion will join an eclectic mix of former winners of the event which includes former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, Thongchai Jaidee and Marcus Fraser, who all won at Pinx Golf Club on Jeju Island; and former European Tour Number One Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger and Brett Rumford who all triumphed at Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul.
Former winners of the Singapore Masters at Laguna National Golf and Country Club include eight time European Tour Number One Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty, Arjun Atwal, the Chinese duo of Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong and Singapore’s own Mardan Mamat.