After an inspired performance at The Ryder Cup, American Patrick Reed will return to the UBS Hong Kong Open as he looks to challenge for his second European Tour title.
The 26 year old will be joined by Team Europe rookie Rafa Cabrera Bello at the Hong Kong Golf Club from December 8-11, along with current Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett and defending champion Justin Rose.
“To represent my country is one of the greatest honours I can experience in golf,” said Reed. “The Ryder Cup was full of so many memorable moments for myself and for Team USA. I was really happy with how I played, it was a special win for us. Hopefully I can produce that level of performance at the UBS Hong Kong Open.”
In what has been labelled an instant classic, Reed squared up against Rory McIllroy in the opening Sunday singles match at Hazeltine National, trading blow for blow with the Northern Irishman before eventually going one up to claim an all-important point for Team USA.
Reed and McIllroy had been the form men for their teams all week and produced a front nine of the highest quality, making eight birdies and an eagle between them to reach the turn all square.
It was Reed who made his move on the back nine to help set up a commanding lead for Team USA, the momentum in their favour to secure the 17-11 victory and regain The Ryder Cup.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the UBS Hong Kong Open again after finishing tied third last year,” he said. “It’s a fantastic course to play, the atmosphere is great and I always like to spend some of my free time enjoying what Hong Kong has to offer, it’s an amazing city.”
However, there were still moments to savour for the Europeans, including the impressive debut of Cabrera Bello. The Spaniard was the only undefeated member of the European team when they departed Minnesota, with 2½ points out of three to his name.
Paired with his compatriot and long-time friend Sergio Garcia, they enjoyed a win in the Friday afternoon four-ball over JB Holmes and Ryan Moore, before halving their foursomes match on Saturday morning after a momentous fightback against Reed and Jordan Speith.
Known as one of the most consistent performers on the European Tour with six top ten finishes this year, Cabrera Bello lifted once again on Sunday morning, defeating current US PGA Champion Jimmy Walker 3 & 2 in his singles match.
“I’m really thrilled to be coming back for the UBS Hong Kong Open,” Cabrera Bello said. “I’ve played this event a couple of times and it’s always a great challenge because it attracts a quality field of players. I hope I can continue to build on my recent good form and kick start the new European Tour season in the best possible fashion.”
With Reed, the seventh-ranked golfer in the world, confirming his participation, the UBS Hong Kong Open features three of the world’s top-11 players with world number nine Danny Willett and world number eleven, Justin Rose, both confirming to appear earlier this summer. Cabrera Bello is ranked 30th in the world.
“With four of the world’s top 30 players already confirmed, the field in 2016 promises to be among the most competitive to date.
“We are excited to offer free entry to the event on both Thursday and Friday in 2016 and share this world-class sports event with all of Hong Kong,” said Amy Lo, Head of Wealth Management, Greater China Country Head for UBS Hong Kong.
Jeffrey Lam, Chairman of the Mega Events Fund Assessment Committee said: “The Mega Events Fund is delighted to see two such high calibre players confirm their participation in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open with the support of the Fund. Both players were stand-out performers in the recent Ryder Cup and their participation in this year’s field will raise the profile of the UBS Hong Kong Open both in Hong Kong and overseas; and this is in line with our objective to support the event which has strong international appeal. We look forward to welcoming them to Hong Kong in December.”
Kenneth Lam, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “We welcome the news that Patrick and Rafa will be coming to the Hong Kong Golf Club to compete in the UBS Hong Kong Open in December. Both players are truly world class with a record that speaks for itself. Patrick has been one of the top players on tour this year and his inclusion in the tournament will ensure that we have one of the most competitive fields seen at Fanling in recent years. We look forward to welcoming them both to the Hong Kong Golf Club in December and watching them compete for the trophy.”
Mr. Harald Dudok van Heel, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: “The field for the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open is shaping up very nicely. To have the Olympic champion and Masters champion compete alongside two of the star players from the Ryder Cup will be a great spectacle for all visitors to the tournament. Together with the announcement that both Thursday and Friday will be free access, this year’s tournament promises to be one of the best on record.”
The UBS Hong Kong Open is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association. In a new move for 2016, entry to the first two rounds on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December will be free of charge. Visitors aged 21 and under will be admitted free of charge for all four days of the tournament.