The European Tour completes its three-tournament swing on Asian soil this week with The Championship at Laguna National marking a return to Singapore for the first time since 2012.
Following the Maybank Malaysia Open and last week’s Volvo China Open, which was won by Frenchman Alexander Levy, The 2014 Race to Dubai moves to Laguna National Golf and Country Club, where 156 players will battle it out for the lion’s share of a US$1.5 million prize fund.
The venue previously hosted the Singapore Masters for six consecutive years between 2002 and 2007, while the country also hosted the Singapore Open on The European Tour International Schedule from 2009 to 2012 and and the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1993 and 1996.
The Championship at Laguna National – formerly the Ballantine’s Championship – was moved from Korea, which has hosted the previous six editions of the tournament, due to staging issues.
That means Australian Brett Rumford will face a new venue as he defends the title he won 12 months ago, when he defeated Scotland’s Peter Whiteford and 2010 champion Marcus Fraser in a play-off at Blackstone Golf Club
Rumford, who is hoping to become the first player to successfully retain the trophy, went on last year to win the Volvo China Open the following week. With the two tournaments switching place in the schedule, Rumford finished tied 63rd in his first defence in China last week, but he will be hoping to fare better this week, at a venue where he finished tied eighth in the 2004 Singapore Masters.
Also in the field is Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, winner of The Championship in 2012, who finished joint runner up behind Lee Westwood on his last European Tour appearance in Malaysia.
Singapore’s Mardan Mamat will be targeting a good performance on home soil, having triumphed in the 2006 Singapore Masters at Laguna National Golf and Country Club, while Englishman Nick Dougherty also enjoyed success at the venue in 2005.
Dougherty’s compatriot, Tommy Fleetwood, heads to Singapore in good form after finishing runner up to Frenchman Levy in Shenzen, while Denmark’s Anders Hansen will be buoyed by his final round 63 on Sunday which secured his first top five finish on The European Tour in more than a year.
Following his maiden European Tour victory last week, Levy will be aiming to follow Rumford by winning both The Championship and Volvo China Open, albeit it in a different order.Former winners of the tournament include 2010 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 Westwood who triumphed at Blackstone Golf Club prior to Wiesberger and Fraser.