Macao, October 12: Scott Hend, the 2013 and 2015 Macao Open champion, will lead a group of seven former winners to challenge defending champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand for the 2017 crown.
Taking place at the Macau Golf & Country Club from October 19 to 22, the popular tournament will once again feature 144 of the world’s most seasoned professionals, and the region’s upcoming amateur talents.
The picturesque venue has provided a happy hunting ground for the Australian star, who also finished as runner-up in 2014. The 44-year-old will look to become the first golfer ever to lift the Macao Open trophy for a third time. Hend currently shares the distinction with Chinese golfing legend Zhang Lian-wei, who won in 2001 and 2002, as the only two two-time winner of the tournament.
Hend, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, said: “I am excited to return to Macao next week to try and win it for a third time. I have some wonderful memories at the Macau Golf & Country Club, where the course suits my game very well.
“I have had a solid season and a strong summer so I am quietly confident of my chances to regain my title. The Macao Open is a popular event because we are looked after very well there. Many of the players in the field are regulars who know the course very well so it will be a tough but satisfying one to win.”
Zhang, who has played in every Macao Open since its inaugural event in 1998 except one because of injury, is the first from his country to win on both the European Tour and the European Senior Tour. The China golf pioneer confirmed his participation last week alongside fellow countryman Liang Wen-chong.
Hend and Zhang will be joined by five other past champions of this important stop on the Asian Tour – 2012 winner Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin (2011), Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand (2009), David Gleeson of Australia (2008), and American Jason Knutzon (2004).
In its 18-year history, the event’s impressive roll of honour boosts of 16 winners from nine nations. Over the years, many of the world’s best golfers have graced the fairways of the Macau Golf & Country Club, including Major winners Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara, as well as European Ryder Cup stars, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgormerie.
The four-day tournament will continue to be jointly organised by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government (MSB) and the Golf Association of Macau. It is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG.
Entry to the 2017 Macao Open, which carries a total prize purse of US $500,000, is free. For more information, please visit www.themacaoopen.com.
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About Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government
Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
About Asian Tour
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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.