The new era of the UBS Hong Kong Open has teed off with the announcement of the first star player in what is expected to be a highly competitive field in 2010.
After two successive second-place finishes at the UBS Hong Kong Open, Rory McIlroy will return to the Hong Kong Golf Club in an effort to complete “unfinished business” from November 18-21.
One of the game’s fastest rising stars, McIlroy currently lies seventh in the Official Golf World Rankings and is preparing to make his Ryder Cup debut in Wales this week.
The Northern Irishman is one of the biggest draws in world golf and has been a huge attraction during the last two editions of the UBS Hong Kong Open, finishing second after a thrilling play-off with Lin Wen-tang in 2008, and taking second spot behind Grégory Bourdy at Fanling last year
“I think it would be fair to say that I have some unfinished business in Hong Kong,” said McIlroy. “I’m looking forward to returning to Hong Kong and I won’t rest until I have the Hong Kong Open title in my bag.”
With McIlroy committed to completing unfinished business in Hong Kong, golf fans from around the region are expected to flock to Fanling to see him take a third successive tilt at the title.
“UBS puts on a brilliant event, and Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world. I love the city and the golf course at Fanling so it was an easy decision to come back this year and try to win the title.
“It is a very important week in the Schedule. It is the last tournament before the Dubai World Championship so if you can perform well in Hong Kong it gives you great confidence for the final event of the season.
“I hope to come to Hong Kong early this year to experience more of the city. We don’t always have time to enjoy some of the great destinations that we visit – and for me, Hong Kong ranks as one of the best cities in the world.”
Kathryn Shih, CEO of UBS Wealth Management, Asia Pacific, commented: “The UBS Hong Kong Open has entered a new era and all of us at UBS are committed to ensuring that it remains one of the region’s top sporting events. Clearly, Rory’s return to Hong Kong for a third shot at the title will add an extra dimension to the excitement.
“I am a great admirer of Rory’s attitude”, added Shih. “After coming so close with two thrilling finishes in recent years, his unrelenting pursuit of success is reminiscent of our corporate philosophy of constantly striving to achieve success for our clients. Rory will be a great addition to the tournament and I am sure that his presence will be welcomed by golf fans across the region.”
McIlroy has enjoyed another fine season at the very highest level of the world game, the highlight of which came in America as he rampaged to his first PGA Tour victory with a final round 62 at the Quail Hollow Championship earlier in the year.
Two joint third-place finishes in the final two Majors of the season – The Open Championship and US PGA Championship – have kept the 21 year old at the summit of the World Ranking as he looks forward to making his Ryder Cup debut for Europe versus the USA before heading for Hong Kong.
About the UBS Hong Kong Open
The Hong Kong Open is Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event. Beginning in 1959, the Hong Kong Open became part of The European Tour International Schedule in the 2002 season and has a rich history of winners including nine different Major Champions who have amassed 25 Major titles between them. UBS, the diversified global financial services company, has been title sponsor of the event since 2005 during which time it has overseen a substantial rise in the tournament’s prize money. Under the stewardship of UBS, the total prize fund has increased every year from US$1.2 million in the 2006 season to the US$2.5 million figure which will be on offer at the Fanling venue in November. The winner in November will pocket a cheque for US$416,660, compared to the US$200,000 won by Colin Montgomerie four years ago. Frenchman Grégory Bourdy is the defending champion for the 2010 edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open – which will be co-sanctioned by The European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA). 2010 marks a new era for the UBS Hong Kong Open with EurAsia Golf Ltd, the joint venture between the European and Asian Tours, becoming the promoter of the Championship.
UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. We combine our wealth management, investment banking and asset management businesses with our Swiss operations to deliver superior financial solutions and manage CHF 2.2 trillion in invested assets.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in over 50 countries, with about 37% of its employees working in the Americas, 37% in Switzerland, 16% in the rest of Europe and 10% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 64,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
For further information please contact:
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