The 2016 European Ryder Cup captain and 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke has announced that he will play in the inaugural Ho Tram Open, a $1.5 million Asian Tour event scheduled to take place Dec. 3-6 at the critically acclaimed Bluffs Ho Tram Strip on Vietnam’s spectacular south-central coast.
Clarke, who has won 22 tournaments worldwide — including the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s — and participated in seven Ryder Cups, cited the increasing popularity of golf in Vietnam and the vision of Ho Tram Strip as reasons for wanting to compete in the highly anticipated tournament.
“All I keep hearing is that the resort and golf course are nothing short of world-class,” said Clarke. “When I heard more about what the promoters were looking to achieve, it made the decision even easier. It’s going to be a great week for everybody with plenty of good golf, excitement and entertainment”
Clarke was unveiled in the event’s creative campaign, with the theme ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage’ – carved out from the resort’s unwavering commitment to five-star hospitality and its reputation as Vietnam’s epi-centre for entertainment.
“We did have some fun with the photo-shoot,” continued Clarke. “I don’t need too much persuading to get the dinner jacket out, which will be making the journey to Vietnam having heard more about the entertainment plans.”
Event officials have spared no expense on keeping guests, players, VIPs and sponsors engrossed throughout the Championship week.
“We are in the entertainment business and that is exactly what we are going to bring to the Ho Tram Open,” said Shaun McCamley, President of The Ho Tram Strip. “It’s going to be an unforgettable week on and off the golf course, and one to circle on the calendar, year after year.”
Clarke will be joined by a field of 144 players — including two-time European Tour winner and Bluffs ambassador Robert Rock — that will vie for a purse that is among the largest up for grabs on the Asian Tour calendar this season.
“It’s testament to the vision of our ownership group to invest in a headline event at Ho Tram, given Vietnam’s surging economy and escalating local appetite for blockbuster events,” said Ben Styles, Vice President Golf and Residential Development, Ho Tram Strip, which includes the Greg Norman-designed Bluffs and the 541-room Grand luxury resort and casino. “We have a three-year event strategy dedicated to creating one of Vietnam’s most historic sporting and social occasions.”
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style layout two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City has been hailed by many of the world’s leading authorities on golf. In January, GOLF Magazine named it one of the world’s best new courses. In July, the Australian Financial Review called it “as pretty a course as you’ll find on the entire Asian continent.”
Promoted by Troon Golf, the event is being billed as ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage,’ a tagline that is resonating loudly with leading businesses in the Asia-Pacific region including Vietnam.
“With Darren (Clarke) and Robert (Rock) in the fold, we’re in an exciting position,” said Styles. “We have secured some great partners to the event, who have been hugely supportive of the event vision and how it will positively impact their businesses. We look forward to sharing further announcements from our confirmed list of headline players and additional news around the event in due course.”
Ho Tram Open www.hotramopen.com
Asian Tour www.asiantour.com