Vietnam golf set for new boom

Hanoi, August 12: Professional golf in Vietnam is poised to enjoy a new boom when the inaugural Volvik-Sky Lake Vietnam Masters gets underway on the Asian Tour from September 19 to 22, 2013.

The Volvik-Sky Lake Vietnam Masters will offer a prize fund of US$500,000, making it the richest and most lucrative golf tournament in the rapidly expanding golf nation. The event will be played at the world-class Sky Lake Resort and Golf Club, which is 45 minutes (40km) from the Hanoi Convention Centre.

Volvik, which is the leading coloured golf ball manufacturer in Korea, title sponsored a tournament in Korea on the Asian Tour last season and its involvement with the Volvik – Sky Lake Vietnam Masters is part of an agreement to support new golf tournaments in Southeast Asia. Parallel Media Group (PMG) is the tournament promoter.

This is the first time in the history of the Asian Tour that a golf ball manufacturer is title sponsoring a professional golf tournament where it is throwing its full support behind the development of golf in Vietnam and across the region.

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han lauded the unwavering support from Volvik and Sky Lake, saying their commitment and vision to grow the game in Vietnam could lead to a new era.

“The Volvik-Sky Lake Vietnam Masters will herald new milestones in the game of golf in Vietnam and across Asia. The Asian Tour, PMG, Volvik and Sky Lake share the same vision and goals which are to create an international golf tournament which we believe can boost the game’s growth and popularity in Vietnam,” said Han.

Han also hopes that the inaugural Volvik-Sky Lake Vietnam Masters will unearth and inspire future Vietnamese talents to take up the game and follow in the footsteps of Vietnamese lone golfer on the Asian Tour, Michael Tran.

“The Asian Tour is celebrating our 10th season in 2013 and in our vision for the next 10 years, we hope to be well represented by players and host nations from all the major markets from across Asia, including Vietnam. This is a great stepping stone for us as we work towards that goal,” said Han.

Tran, who plays regularly on the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour (ADT) through his country exemption category, has enjoyed some measure of success on the region’s premier Tour.

He claimed his best result of tied third at the 2012 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.

He was also in contention at the PGM UMW Templer Park Masters on the ADT, the Asian Tour’s feeder circuit, before settling for fourth place. That result propelled him to 657th position on the Official World Golf Rankings.

With golf’s impending return into the Olympics in 2016, Tran will be focussed on representing his country in Rio De Janeiro if he continues to shine on the Asian Tour and ADT, which also offers world ranking points.

Han said: “The Volvik – Sky Lake Vietnam Masters will provide the impetus for Asian and Vietnamese golfers to raise the level of their games and improve their positions on the Official World Golf Rankings, which will be used to determine the field for the Olympics.”

Tran is delighted that his home country will stage a new Asian Tour tournament next month and believes it can help with the development of players. He hopes that the leading players from his country will take the opportunity to work towards success on the Asian Tour and ADT.

“The Asian Tour is where players make their money. If you want to survive out here, you have to play well on the Asian Tour,” said the 23-year-old Tran.

About the Asian Tour

In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf