Tuesday, 16 November 2010:
Some of the world’s leading golfers visited UBS headquarters in Hong Kong this afternoon to help tee off the 2010 UBS Hong Kong Open. Appearing at today’s press launch were Ryder Cup stars, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, defending Hong Kong Open champion, Grégory Bourdy, PGA Tour star, John Daly, and China’s top pro, Liang Wen-Chong.
Joining Ms Kathryn Shih, CEO, UBS Wealth Management, Asia Pacific and Mr Allen Lo, CEO of UBS Hong Kong, at the launch were Mr Ning Li, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, Mr Peter Adams, Director of International Championships for the European Tour and Mr Eric Lynge, Senior Director TV and Commercial for the Asian Tour.
“The UBS Hong Kong Open has a heritage that few other tournaments can match and UBS is very proud to be entering the sixth consecutive year of its title sponsorship as well of its role in helping transform the Hong Kong Open into one of the premier golfing events in Asia. I am confident that these developments, combined with the presence of a constellation of star players this year that the Open will be better than ever,” said Shih.
The world-class field has the potential to make the 2010 UBS Hong Kong Open one of the most competitive in the 52-year history of the event. Any of a number of in-form players is in with a chance of lifting the trophy on Sunday afternoon, not least the plethora of erstwhile Ryder Cup teammates taking part.
McIlroy, McDowell and Poulter were all instrumental in achieving Europe’s momentous win, as was two-time Hong Kong Open champion, Miguel Angel Jimenez, who returns in search of his third Hong Kong title. All will be performing under the watchful eyes of their Ryder Cup team captain and vice captain, Colin Montgomerie and Paul McGinley, respectively – both of whom are also competing at Fanling.
Rory McIlroy, in particular, will be looking to go one better than his two consecutive runner-up finishes in Hong Kong in 2008 and 2009.
“It’s fair to say that I have some unfinished business in Hong Kong. I won’t rest until I have the UBS Hong Kong Open title in my bag,” said McIlroy before the Ryder Cup.
Standing in his way is US Open Champion, McDowell. “I have enjoyed the best season of my career this year. Winning the UBS Hong Kong Open would be the icing on the cake,” said McDowell.
Ian Poulter will also be determined to put on a strong performance in Hong Kong:
“Looking at the World Rankings from a points perspective – anybody in the top 10 in the world who has a good six months can find themselves moving up the World Ranking high enough to contend for that Number One spot – and that’s something I’m aiming for,” said Poulter.
Among the many interesting subplots of the week ahead is Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie’s reversion to adversary as he chases his second Hong Kong title.
“I’m very much looking forward to the UBS Hong Kong Open,” said 2005 Hong Kong Open winner, Montgomerie. “The Hong Kong Golf Club is one of my favourite venues and having won there in the past offers me a great opportunity to get back in the winner’s enclosure.”
As UBS Hong Kong Open history has repeatedly confirmed, it is a grave mistake to overlook the Asian players in the field – despite the presence of so many heavyweights from Europe.
With headliners like Liang Wen Chong and the region’s current hottest property, YE Yang, the first Asian to win a major at the 2009 USA PGA Tour Championship, returning to the Hong Kong Golf Club, Asia’s finest can be relied upon to make their presence felt.
Yang in particular is approaching the tournament from a perspective of regional pride as the Korean star relishes the chance to compete for Asia’s most established golf title.
“The UBS Hong Kong Open is one of the best tournaments in Asia and has a rich tradition and history so I would love to win this title,” he said.
With European golf at a high after the dramatic Ryder Cup victory and Asian players continuing to set new milestones on the international stage, all signs point towards another thrilling UBS Hong Kong Open in 2010. The tournament will be played from Thursday, November 18, to Sunday November 21, 2010 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
For more information please visit www.ubshongkongopen.com