Photo - Asian Tour
MAJOR CHAMPIONS TO HEADLINE BARCLAYS SINGAPORE OPEN
Singapore: The four Major champions of 2010, headed by US Open winner and Europe's Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell, will compete at next month's US$6 million Barclays Singapore Open, organizers confirmed today.
Ulsterman McDowell, who secured the winning point for Europe in their Ryder Cup victory over the United States on Monday, will be joined in the elite field by Masters champion Phil Mickelson, British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Germany's Martin Kaymer, who beat Bubba Watson in a play-off to win the US PGA Championship.
Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, like McDowell and Kaymer a member of the successful European team that won back the Ryder Cup, Asia's first Major winner Y.E. Yang of Korea and Australia's Adam Scott, back-to-back Singapore Open winner in 2005 and 2006, will also tee it up at Sentosa Golf Club from November 11-14.
For the second year running, the Barclays Singapore Open 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.
"It's wonderful news that all four Major champions from this season will play in the Barclays Singapore Open," said Robert Morrice, Chairman & CEO Asia Pacific, Barclays PLC.
"Obviously, a lot of attention will be focussed on Graeme McDowell after he followed his US Open win with heroics for Europe at the Ryder Cup. It's great for the fans to get the opportunity to watch him alongside the hugely popular Phil Mickelson and the year's two other Major champions, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer."
Despite having won four times on the European Tour before this year, McDowell had largely flown under the radar before his stunning US Open victory at famed Pebble Beach in June.
Amazingly, even that towering success was put in the shade by a lionhearted display at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales on Monday with his 3&1 victory over Hunter Mahan securing the Ryder Cup for Europe.
McDowell will be looking to scale further peaks in November at the Barclays Singapore Open, widely regarded as the "Major of Asia".
Currently second behind Kaymer in the European Tour's Race to Dubai, a win at Sentosa Golf Club could put him in the driver's seat with just two events remaining.
The 31-year-old McDowell, who won the Barclays Scottish Open in 2008, led the Singapore Open after 12 holes of the final round last year before faltering with three straight bogeys from the 14th to finish joint fifth behind winner Ian Poulter of England.
Crowd favourite Mickelson has competed in the last three Barclays Singapore Opens with his best finish coming in 2008 when he finished ninth. But the reigning Masters champion reckons he can get the better of the Serapong Course this year.
"I'm looking forward to this event because having played the last three years, I've gotten to know the nuances and intricacies of the course," said the world number three, who finished the Ryder Cup on a personal high with a 4&2 singles victory over Peter Hanson of Sweden.
"And because of that, I like my chances quite a bit. I'm looking forward to the tournament. It's one of the premier events, it's one of the premier golf courses but I think knowing the course and knowing how to play it and it being my fourth year now, I expect to do well."
The 25-year-old Kaymer lived up to his reputation as a superstar in the making by beating Watson in the playoff to win the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and followed up with a win at the KLM Open in Holland.
Kaymer, currently ranked sixth in the world, leads the Race to Dubai with winnings of 2,554,400 Euros.
Oosthuizen's triumph in the British Open at St Andrews saw him leap up the standings and he will be keen to make up further ground from sixth spot with a good showing at the Barclays Singapore Open.
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.