The UBS Hong Kong Open is one of the most vibrant and exciting tournaments in the world. Therefore, what better place to launch the 2011 tournament, than in the energetic heart of the city itself, here at Victoria Harbour.
Just as the shimmering skyline lights up the heavens, so the galaxy of stars who will assemble at the Hong Kong Golf in Fanling will illuminate the world of golf, as they aim to join an already illustrious roll call of past winners of this prestigious tournament.
Leading the way are the six players who are with us at today’s launch: the experienced Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Y E Yang, and the exciting young talent of Hong Kong’s own Jason Hak.
Padraig Harrington was European golf’s Number One in 2006. The Irishman won The Open Championship at Carnoustie in 2007 before successfully defending the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale a year later. He also won the US PGA Championship that year to become the first European golfer in history to win back-to-back Majors.
Rory McIlroy has twice been a runner-up in the UBS Hong Kong Open. The Northern Irishman thrilled the world of golf this summer with his eight shot win in the US Open Championship at Congressional Country Club, a victory which has helped him to his current position of Number Two in the World Rankings.
Ian Poulter is an 11 time winner on The European Tour including this year’s Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain. The Englishman is, of course, the defending champion of the UBS Hong Kong Open having won at Fanling 12 months ago last year.
Justin Rose was Europe’s Number One golfer in 2007. The Englishman has won seven times on The European Tour and three times on the PGA Tour in America including this year when he won the BMW Championship during the FedEx Cup series.
Y E Yang made history in 2009 when he defeated Tiger Woods down the stretch at Hazeltine National to claim the US PGA Championship and become the first Asian golfer to win a Major. The Korean won the Volvo China Open in 2010 to bring his total of wins around the world to 11.
Jason Hak is a Hong Kong-born teenager who has already made golfing history. Three years ago, at only 14 years and 304 days old, he made the cut in the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open, thus becoming the youngest player to make a cut in European Tour history. He eclipsed the record set by Sergio Garcia, who was 15 years and 46 days old when he made the weekend action in the 1995 Turespaña Masters.
Allen Lo, Country Head & Chief Executive, UBS Hong Kong Branch, said: “Throughout our long partnership with the tournament, UBS has sought to ensure that the Open, Hong Kong’s oldest sporting event, continues to go from strength to strength.
“Today, the UBS Hong Kong Open offers a prize fund of US$2.75 million, outstanding media exposure, particularly in its television profile in Asia and globally, and attracts stronger fields each year.”
Vincent Fung, Secretary of the Mega Events Fund Assessment Committee and Assistant Commissioner for Tourism, said: “The Mega Events Fund Assessment Committee is pleased to support the UBS Hong Kong Open andsincerely welcome all the visitors who have come to Hong Kong to enjoy this wonderful golf tournament. I trust this will be an excellent opportunity for everyone to experience thebeautiful landscape of Hong Kong as a cosmopolitan city, while at the same time marvelling at the skills of some of the world’s finest golfers.”
David Hui, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said: “This is Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event and the HKGA is honoured to be associated with such a historical and tradition-rich tournament.
“Local junior golf has long been a key focus for the HKGA and we are blessed with an increasing number of talented youngsters, many of whom are making a name for themselves on the regional amateur stage – and who all dream of one day participating in this fantastic championship.”
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 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$2.75 million figure which was on offer at the Fanling venue in December.
The UBS Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association.
About the Mega Events Fund
This year, the UBS Hong Kong Open is supported by the Mega Events Fundof the Hong Kong SAR Government. The Mega Events Fund was set up in 2009 to supportmoremega arts, cultural and sports events to be staged in Hong Kong.
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.
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 66,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Released on behalf of UBS Hong Kong Open 2011
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