MILLION DOLLAR INCREASE FOR STAR STUDDED BARCLAYS SINGAPORE OPEN
Singapore: This year’s Barclays Singapore Open will see a US$1 million increase in prize money and feature marquee players Phil Mickelson from the United States, Australian Adam Scott, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Yang Yong-eun from Korea.
To be played for the sixth successive season at Sentosa Golf Club from November 11 to 14 the total purse will be a staggering US$6 million.
A host of other star players will be announced over the next few months for a tournament that will also see some exciting new changes to its format.
For the second year in a row it will be joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and The European Tour and for the first time a field of 204 players will compete on both The Serapong and The Tanjong Courses.
Players will play on both courses for the first two days and after the halfway cut is made they will compete on The Serapong course at the weekend.
“This will be the best field we’ve yet had at the Barclays Singapore Open,” said Robert Morrice, Chairman & CEO Asia Pacific, Barclays PLC, “We are excited about growing the tournament with this increased field of players from around the world.
Golf is a cornerstone of our brand strategy, with the Barclays Singapore Open following on from The Barclays in the US and the Scottish Open.”
In an exciting development last year Barclays announced they would continue their sponsorship of what is Asia’s richest national Open until at least 2012. They have been title sponsor since 2006.
The top 75 players from the Asian Tour and top 75 from The European Tour will make up the bulk of the field. In a move that will truly open up the tournament to the whole Asia Pacific region 32 positions have been allocated to members of the Mercedes-Benz Tour (7), the PGA Tour of Australasia (5), the China Golf Association Tour (5), the Korean Golf Tour (5) and the Professional Golf Tour of India (5).
Ten places will be for sponsor invites while four amateurs from the Singapore Golf Association and three professionals from the Singapore Professional Golfers’ Association will play.
“We are proud to be the home of the Barclays Singapore Open and delighted to have the opportunity to showcase both our championship courses to the world,” said Mike Barclay, CEO of Sentosa Development Corporation.
“Some of the best players in the world have complimented the look and feel of the tournament, comparing it to a Major set up. This event has shown that Sentosa Golf Club can deliver one of the best championship courses in Asia, if not the world.”
Nearly 40,000 fans came to watch last year when England’s Ian Poulter tasted victory and with the world’s best players returning in November that figured is expected to be surpassed.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han saluted Barclays and Sentosa Golf Club for their commitment to Singapore’s national championship. “On behalf of our talented members, I would like to commend Barclays and Sentosa for raising the bar over the past few years. The Barclays Singapore Open has become a truly a world-class championship which ultimately showcases the best of Asian golf to the world. The increase in the tournament’s prize fund to US$6 million is another significant endorsement of Asian golf,” said Han.
Crowd favourite Mickelson has competed in the last three Barclays Singapore Opens with his best finish coming in 2008 when he finished ninth.
The American will arrive in Singapore as the reigning US Masters Champion - which he won in April for the third time. He has claimed four Majors in total and 38 US PGA Tour events.
Scott has an outstanding record on The Serapong Course.
In 2006, he beat Ernie Els from South Africa to become the first player to successfully defend Singapore’s national Open. A year earlier he won the title by seven strokes.
He nearly made it three in a row after finishing third in 2007, while victory narrowly eluded him in 2009 when he came joint third.
Harrington lost by one stroke to Indian Jeev Milkha Singh in the 2008 Barclays Singapore Open.
That came at the end of a year that saw him reach stardom by winning both the Open Championship and US PGA Championship. He also claimed the Open in 2007 and has truly established himself as one of Europe’s finest ever golfers.
Korean star Yang will be making his first appearance in the Barclays Singapore Open.
He shot to fame last year when he became the first Asian to win a Major by overtaking American Tiger Woods in the final round of the US PGA Championship.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “With tournaments in Europe, Asia and the USA, Barclays’ commitment to golf is on a truly global scale. This year’s increased prize fund in Singapore, one of the world’s most thriving cities, is further evidence of their belief in the value of our product. With a world class field and excellent conditions, the Barclays Singapore Open is operating at the very highest level of our sport and we look forward to another exciting edition of the event in November.”
This year will be the 47th edition of the event. It was not played between 2002 and 2004, but returned to the Asian Tour schedule in 2005 thanks to the support of Sentosa and the efforts of the event promoter World Sport Group.
“The larger field will give more Asian golfers the opportunity to compete at the highest level at a world class event, which can only be good for the further development of golf in this region. This could not have happened without the commitment from Barclays and Sentosa Development Corporation,” said Chris Jordan, Senior Vice President, Golf, World Sport Group.
The Barclays Singapore Open continues to set new standards for golf in the region, which is something that it has always done since its inauguration.
With a list of past champions that dates back to 1961, the tournament has earned its place in the history books as an event that helped build the foundations for the development of tournament golf in Asia.