Dynamic duo set for Macao challenge

Wed 19 Aug 2015

Dynamic duo set for Macao challenge

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Macao, August 19: Four-time Major champion Ernie Els and six-time Asian Tour winner Scott Hend have confirmed their return to the picturesque Macau Golf & Country Club to compete for the coveted Venetian Macao Open title from October 15-18.
Organised by the Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government and the Golf Association of Macau, sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour and with The Venetian Macao® as the title sponsor for the fourth successive year, the 17th edition of the prestigious tournament will see Els challenge for the title for the third successive year. The South African finished at a respectable tied 26th position last year after an impressive tied-3rd finish in his debut in 2013.
“I am looking forward to playing at the Venetian Macao Open for the third time, which is now a regular stop on my fall schedule. The course is in great condition and the weather is always pleasant during that time of year so it tends to bring out the best in a lot of golfers, myself included. I have been practising well and I stand a great chance to bring the trophy back to South Africa for the first time,” said the 45-year-old Johannesburg native, who is an Honorary Member and International Ambassador of the Asian Tour.
Hend is no stranger to the Venetian Macao Open, having won the title in 2013 and coming agonisingly close to repeating that feat a year later. The 42-year-old Australian won by three shots over current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri two years ago, but was dethroned by the same player after a nail-biting final-day shootout saw him settle for tied second place last season.
With Lahiri already confirmed to defend his title and fresh from an impressive tied fifth finish at the PGA Championship last week, there could be fireworks come October as the three world-class champions go head-to-head on the fairways of the Macau Golf & Country Club. Hend, who has had four top-10 finishes this season, commented:
“I was close to defending my title last year, but I couldn’t close it out. All credit to Anirban though, as he held his nerve and completed the job in hand. I am glad to have the opportunity again this year to have another crack at the title. It won’t be easy with Anirban playing so well lately, and of course, Ernie, who is a four-time Major champion, with all that experience, you can never count him out. I look forward to being back out there on that beautiful course.”
José Tavares, President of Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government (MSDB) is delighted with the return of the three fan favourites:
“Ernie, Anirban and Scott have provided us with so much excitement over the last few years, and helped put the Venetian Macao Open on the world stage in terms of sporting events. The  buzz they create as a result of their battles on the course here in Macao is something we can’t wait for and we look forward to hosting them once again this year.”
With the continued commitment of title sponsor – The Venetian Macao, the tournament’s prize purse sees a third consecutive increase, taking it to the all-important US $1 million mark – a rise of US $100,000 on 2014, making it one of the most lucrative tournaments on the Asian Tour.
Dave Horton, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd., commented:
“We are continuing our support for the Venetian Macao Open because we believe it has an important role to play in promoting Macao as a top destination for both leisure and business travel. Macao is internationally renowned for its array of entertainment and hospitality offerings, and we are proud to be at the heart of one of the city’s most iconic annual events. The return of a four-time Major winner in Ernie Els and former champion in Scott Hend will no doubt add more colour to the already glittering event.”
Mike Kerr, CEO of the Asian Tour added, “The Venetian Macao Open brings together the best players on the Asian Tour and legends such as Ernie Els, which is a testimony of the caliber and stature of the event. Since 2012, when the Venetian Macao began their support of the tournament, it has gone from strength to strength and the event is now a highlight of the Asian Tour calendar and  a favourite amongst the players, fans, sponsors and partners alike. The Asian Tour's top players such as Scott Hend and Anirban Lahiri have now made the Venetian Macao Open a regular destination for them, and it will be exciting to see them battling for the title again with Ernie this October.”
Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has been contested by some of the best golfers in the world, including Lee Westwood (winner in 1999), Colin Montgomerie (winner in 2003), Scott Hend (winner in 2013), Anirban Lahiri (winner in 2014), Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Mark O’Meara, and Chinese stars Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong.
For more details on the Venetian Macao Open, please visit: www.thevenetianmacaoopen.com.
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For further information, please contact:
Kitty Wu
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About Macao Sport Development Board of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government
Macao Sport Development Board, 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’, the Macao Sport Development Board 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 Macao 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 The Venetian® Macao
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital & Spa; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 350 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao – Sands China’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao has transformed a day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with more than 650 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.5 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, transportation offerings and well over 120 dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and lounges. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is a must-go destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach. And coming in 2016... the crowning achievement of Sheldon G. Adelson’s vision of the Cotai Strip… The Parisian Macao.
Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao… Be at the Centre of It All! For more information, please visit http://en.sandsresortsmacao.com.
About the 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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf , www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor 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, the world’s leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.