The European Tour and co-sanctioning partner, the Asian Tour, and Parallel Media Group, the promoters, confirm that UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, will be completing their five year commitment to the Hong Kong Open by title-sponsoring the 51st edition of this outstanding event at the Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling, on November 12-15, 2009, and that preliminary discussions have started with potential new title sponsors.
The 2009 UBS Hong Kong Open will have a prize fund of US$2.5 million compared to approximately US$700,000 prior to the arrival of UBS as title sponsors in 2005.
The 51st edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open will create an enormous sense of drama and excitement with it being the final tournament in deciding the Number One to 60 players in The Race to Dubai who will secure admission to the new season-ending Dubai World Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE, on November 19-22.
Rory Tapner, chairman and CEO of UBS in Asia Pacific, said, “UBS is extremely proud of the central role it has played in establishing the Hong Kong Open as one of the most prestigious championships in Asian golf and wishes the tournament every success in future years.”
“We are very much looking forward to the final edition of our five-year commitment to the Hong Kong Open, especially in light of the added significance the tournament has for the players this year, vis-à -vis the Dubai World Championship”
George O’Grady, chief executive of The European Tour, said, “We thank UBS for their five year sponsorship of the Hong Kong Open and their outstanding leadership and vision. We also acknowledge their early notification regarding the future as we can now work with PMG, the promoters, in securing a new sponsor for 2010 and beyond and look forward to continuing to develop this great championship with the Hong Kong Golf Association.”
Kyi Hla Han, executive chairman of the Asian Tour said, “UBS has been a great supporter of golf in Asia over the past five years. We have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with UBS and the Hong Kong Open during this time, and their title sponsorship of the championship has been a huge success with the players, the media and the fans.”
David Ciclitira, chairman of the Parallel Media Group, said, “We understand the rationale behind a difficult decision for UBS and we wish them well in their future business. We thank UBS for their tremendous support of the Hong Kong Open which has grown from strength to strength in the last ten years that The European Tour and PMG have worked together with the Hong Kong Golf Association, the Hong Kong Golf Club and the Asian Tour.
“All our secondary sponsors are committed to continuing with the tournament and preliminary discussions have started with potential new title sponsors. We are confident that with more than 15 support sponsors currently involved the tournament will grow in the forthcoming years.”
The Hong Kong Open, first played in 1959, has developed into a highly popular and prestigious destination on The European Tour International Schedule. Past champions include Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson and more recently Josà© Maria Olazà¡bal, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimà©nez and Colin Montgomerie have been crowned champions. Lin Wen-tang, of Chinese Taipei, won the 50th edition in November, last year.
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