The European Tour and the Korea PGA are delighted to announce that Ballantine’s, the world’s number three Scotch whisky, will title sponsor The Ballantine’s Championship at the Pinx Golf Club on the picturesque island of Jeju, South Korea, from 13-16 March 2008, with a prize fund of €2,000,000.
This is the first European Tour event to be held in Korea. In this historic move, Ballantine’s has agreed an initial three year arrangement for the championship which will be promoted by the Parallel Media Group.
Christian Porta, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, which owns Ballantine’s, said, “The European Tour brings a global stage for this tournament, for Ballantine’s and for Korean golf. It is our privilege to help bring for the first time such a prestigious event to Korea which is already world famous for its golfers and its love of golf. We hope all will recognise our desire to help further increase the sport’s popularity in Korea.”
George O’Grady, chief executive of The European Tour, said, “We are delighted to welcome Ballantine’s into our family of global sponsors and congratulate them in addition to the Korea PGA and the Parallel Media Group for their foresight, support and vision. This is an exciting new territory for The European Tour which meets with our policy to grow the game worldwide and Pinx Golf Club will provide a spectacular venue for the players and fans alike.”
The Ballantine’s Championship marks the first time that The European Tour International Schedule has visited Korea and brings to 38 the number of destinations to have hosted Tour competition. Korea’s influence on The European Tour is already well established with KJ Choi becoming the first Korean to win on The European Tour International Schedule when he captured the 2003 German Masters while compatriot YE Yang held off a world class field including World Number One Tiger Woods to capture the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai last November.
Seoung Ghee Wook, the Korea PGA vice-chairman, said, “I am very pleased that this official European Tour event, the Ballantine’s Championship, is being held for the first time in Korea. The Ballantine’s Championship will make a huge contribution to the continuing development of Korean professional golf and will help build a close relationship between Korea and The European Tour. The Korea PGA is looking forward to working with The European Tour and Ballantine’s to ensure that the tournament is an outstanding success.”
Pinx Golf Club, located on Jeju Island, just south of the Korean mainland, is a state-of-the-art resort with a stunning Scottish moorland-style course set amongst spectacular lava outcrops with views of Halla Mountain and the Yellow Sea. Jeju Island, also known as ‘Island of the Gods’ is a popular vacation destination for Koreans, dominated by Halla-san, South Korea’s highest peak.
The facility, which has 27 holes – all providing views of the Halla Mountains and the sea – was designed by the US golf course designer, Theodore G Robinson, and entered the US Golf Digest 100 best courses list at number 72 in 2005-2006.
David Ciclitira, CEO of the Parallel Media Group, said, “We are delighted to extend our promotion of golf tournaments to this new Ballantine’s Championship and we look forward to developing the event with Ballantine’s, The European Tour and the Korea PGA at the outstanding Pinx Golf Club.”
Ballantine’s Scotch whisky enjoys an iconic status across Asia and is Korea’s favourite super-premium imported Scotch.
European Tour www.europeantour.com
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