The Celtic Manor Resort is proud to announce ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) as the new title sponsor for its flagship European Tour golf event – the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
The three-year sponsorship deal with ISPS launches an exciting new chapter in the history of the tournament which counts Ryder Cup stars Paul McGinley, Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jimenéz, Robert Karlsson and Graeme McDowell among its former champions.
Chaired by Japanese businessman and philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa, ISPS supports the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) and will be raising the profile of blind and disabled golf through its association with the ISPS Handa Wales Open and other golf tournaments around the world.
The 2012 ISPS Handa Wales Open from May 31 – June 3 will be ISPS’s first European Tour event following successful sponsorships of tournaments on the European Senior Tour, Ladies European Tour, Asian Tour, Japanese Golf Tour Organisation, PGA of Japan Seniors Tour, Australian PGA and Legends Tour.
ISPS Chairman Dr Handa said: “ISPS is delighted to become title sponsor of our first European Tour event. The Celtic Manor Resort is a fantastic venue and we are looking forward to working with them on hosting the ISPS Handa Wales Open over the historic Twenty Ten Course for the next three years.
“ISPS is committed to raising the profile of blind and disabled golf throughout the world, having established the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) in 1998. We believe the ISPS Handa Wales Open offers a great platform from which to promote our mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport.”
Welcoming the sponsorship at The Celtic Manor Resort today (Monday) was Paul McGinley, who claimed one of his four European Tour victories at Celtic Manor and was a vice-captain of the victorious European 2010 Ryder Cup team at the venue.
McGinley said: “It is always a personal pleasure to return to Celtic Manor, the scene of some of my happiest memories in golf and I am very happy to be here to welcome ISPS as title sponsor of the ISPS Handa Wales Open. On behalf of European Tour players, we look forward to working with them and supporting them in raising the profile of blind and disabled golf.”
With a prize fund of £1.8m and staged on the Twenty Ten Course which hosted such a memorable Ryder Cup in 2010, the ISPS Handa Wales Open has grown into one of the most established golf events in Europe.
Celtic Manor Resort Chief Executive Dylan Matthews said: “We are delighted to welcome ISPS on board as the title sponsor of the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
“It is fantastic news that we are now able to secure the future of the tournament and raise its profile to an even higher level with this ground-breaking three-year partnership. It also gives us great pleasure to work with an organisation that does such valuable work in taking golf to new audiences, particularly increasing participation in blind and disabled golf across the world.”
The agreement between The Celtic Manor Resort, which continues to act as the event host and promoter, and ISPS was brokered by WSM Communications.
Andrew White, Chief Executive of WSM Communications said: “The ISPS Handa Wales Open represents a great opportunity for ISPS to raise the profile of blind and disabled golf on European golf’s elite stage for the first time. We were delighted to be able to create this partnership with The Celtic Manor Resort.”
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy of The European Tour, said: “We have developed a strong partnership with ISPS on the European Senior Tour and we are now delighted to welcome Dr Handa to The European Tour International Schedule through their title sponsorship of the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
“The tournament has grown in stature since its inception in 2000 and our Members will look forward to continuing their association with Sir Terry Matthews, and the event he made possible with his vision and commitment, in addition to playing the highly acclaimed Twenty Ten Course.”
Dr Handa has more than 25 years involvement in golf around the world at varying levels of the game. He is International Ambassador to the Asian Tour and the Ladies European Tour. He is also Patron of Golf Australia alongside Greg Norman and Honorary Chairman of the Legends Tou. ISPS is a Major Partner of Faldo Series Asia, Nick Faldo’s golf development programme.
Occupying a prime early summer slot in The European Tour International Schedule, immediately after the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, the ISPS Handa Wales Open has been staged at The Celtic Manor Resort since its inception in 2000.
Many of The European Tour’s biggest names have graced the tournament during its 12-year history. Reigning champion Alexander Noren also claimed the 2011 Nordea Masters in his native Sweden, while 2010 winner McDowell went on to capture the US Open two weeks after his triumph at Celtic Manor.
Tickets for the ISPS Handa Wales Open are available at an early bird price of £21 adult daily and £47 adult season until 29th February 2012. For tickets and further information, visit www.ispshandawalesopen.com