(September 7, 2011, Hong Kong, China) Ian Poulter will return to the Hong Kong Golf Club, from December 1-4, to defend his UBS Hong Kong Open crown from one of golf’s prodigious young pretenders who pushed him all the way last year, Matteo Manassero.
Poulter’s thrilling victory included a breath-taking ten under par second round 60, and the Ryder Cup hero cannot wait to return to one of his favourite destinations on The European Tour to defend his title.
“It’s always important to defend any title but I have to say that it was a pretty easy decision to return to Hong Kong,” said Poulter, who finished the week on 22 under par to lift the UBS Hong Kong Open trophy – the tenth win of his career – last November.
“I love the city, the buzz around the whole place makes it exciting to be there and the golf tournament is a good extension of that. We play on a great course that you can really make a score on if you play well and that helps to create excitement for the fans.
“The fans at the UBS Hong Kong Open really get involved and there is an electric atmosphere around there if you are playing well – that’s something that certainly helps me perform.”
Manassero is hoping he can be the man to conquer Poulter after a brilliant final round 62 at the Fanling venue saw him finish just a single stroke behind the champion in a tie for second place with Simon Dyson one year ago.
The 18 year old Italian, the youngest winner in European Tour history following his 2010 victory in the Castelló Masters, is one of the game’s most exciting young talents and he is relishing another shot at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
“It would be very nice to go one better in Hong Kong this year,” said Manassero, who won his second Tour tile in Malaysia in April.
“I love the course at the Hong Kong Golf Club. You have to use your imagination on so many shots if you want to make a good score there, and if you play the right way you can make a great score.
“That makes the tournament an exciting one for the players and I think everyone enjoys the whole week in Hong Kong because it is such an amazing city with so much going on.”
Kathryn Shih, CEO, UBS Wealth Management, Asia Pacific, said: “UBS has been a very proud partner of the UBS Hong Kong Open since 2005 and, during that time, we have had the privilege to witness some outstanding golf invariably in dramatic contests in which player fortunes have ebbed and flowed with the result often decided at the final hole. I have no doubt that the presence of young players such as McIlroy, Poulter and Manassero at Fanling this year promises to ensure that, like its predecessors, the 2011 UBS Hong Kong Open will live long in the memory.”
The Hon Jeffrey Lam, Chairman of the Mega Events Fund Assessment Committee said:
“The Mega Events Fund (MEF) Assessment Committee is pleased to support the UBS Hong Kong Open and glad to see the gathering of world-class players in this international golf tournament. I am confident that with the concerted efforts of participating parties, this event not only adds colour and vibrancy to our city, but also enriches the travel experience of visitors from all over the world and raises the profile of Hong Kong globally.”
Tickets to see Poulter defend his title from Manassero and the already-confirmed US Open Champion, Rory McIlroy, are now available through www.europeantourtickets.com, www.cityline.com, any Parsons Music branch or via the Cityline hotline: +852 2111 5333. Fans can save 20% on all tickets if they purchase before October 31.
The UBS Hong Kong Open is supported by the Mega Events Fund.