CHAMPIONS GALORE SET FOR ISPS HANDA SINGAPORE CLASSIC
Singapore: A field of dreams comprising of no fewer than 40 Asian Tour champions will gather for the second edition of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic at the Orchid Country Club next month.
Upon the close of entries, a stellar line-up of the region’s most talented stars have signed up for the US$300,000 full-field Asian Tour event which include six of the current top-10 players from the Order of Merit – Siddikur of Bangladesh, South African Jbe Kruger, Thai trio Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Chinnarat Phadungsil and veteran Prayad Marksaeng and India’s Sujjan Singh.
Title holder Peter Karmis of South Africa has also confirmed his defence of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic which is scheduled from September 8-11, 2011.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “From the initial list of entries, the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic is set to be a real Classic indeed as it has attracted a strong turnout of caliber players who have won titles on the Asian Tour. “This augurs well for the tournament and golf fans in Singapore as Asia’s finest players will shoot for the title at Orchid Country Club along with over 20 local hopefuls led by Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing.
“Next month’s ISPS Handa Singapore Classic may well surpass last year’s inaugural edition judging by the quality of players who have signed up this year.”
Two former Asian Tour number ones, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Jyoti Randhawa of India, will also be amongst the cast of champions heading to the Lion City next month.
Both Thaworn and Randhawa are former winners of the Singapore Open and a Classic victory would certainly earn them a special double. Five of this season’s winners including Kiradech, India’s Anirban Lahiri, American Berry Henson, Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol and Finland’s Joonas Granberg, will also tee up at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic with every intention of grabbing a second Asian Tour victory of the season.
The tournament will also feature Tour veteran Rick Gibson of Canada, who at 49 is the oldest member of the Asian Tour, and promising 16-year-old Filipino Miguel Tabuena, the Tour’s youngest.
Interestingly, Manila-based Gibson, a multiple winner in Japan and Asia, is also Tabuena’s coach. Han said: “Aside from the proven champions, the Asian Tour continues to unearth new and young talents. Miguel is one such player that we should look out for and he is very talented. “There are many other teenagers such as Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat who have shown that they can compete at the highest level in Asia. Panuphol recently finished second in the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and I’m sure he will excite fans in Singapore with his aggressive play.”
Last year, the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic was used to help promote blind golfing while this year, organisers will focus on relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan following the tsunami and earthquake tragedies earlier this year.
Photo - Asian Tour