Els commits to Venetian Macau Open

Mon 23 Jun 2014

Els commits to Venetian Macau Open

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Macau, June 23: Former world number one Ernie Els has confirmed his return to the US$900,000 Venetian Macau Open at the Macau Golf and Country Club from October 23-26, 2014.
The South African is known as ‘The Big Easy’ due to his physical stature and fluid golf swing, a swing which has won him a phenomenal 70 professional career victories to date, including two on the Asian Tour (2005 BMW Asian Open in China and 2005 Qatar Masters).
He is hoping to add another victory in October after making his debut at the Venetian Macau Open last year where he tied for third place at 12-under-par 272, four shots behind the champion Scott Hend of Australia.
Els,  who is an Asian Tour Honorary Member and International Ambassador, turned professional in 1989 and his stellar career includes four Major Championship wins (US Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open Championship in 2002 and 2012), two World Golf Championship events and seven World Matchplay titles. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
He is relishing the opportunity to compete at Macau’s most iconic sporting event again, this time while sporting the logo of his new sponsor, The Venetian Macao.
“I am really excited to be coming back to Macau.  I had a great time last year and the tournament was extremely well organised. The city is amazing with world class hospitality and entertainment.  I had my 44th birthday there last year which was fantastic fun, in fact I enjoyed it so much that I’ve recently become a global ambassador for The Venetian Macao and will be working with them on a number of golf initiatives over the forthcoming months,” said Els.
“I have always enjoyed playing in this part of the world and especially to play at the Venetian Macau Open which is one of the most prestigious events on the Asian Tour. I know that Lee (Westwood) and Colin (Montgomerie) have won there in the past and I hope to emulate them and lift the trophy this year!”
The Venetian Macau Open is jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau.  It is sanctioned by both the Asian Tour and the Golf Association of Macau, and promoted by IMG.  The VenetianMacao is the title sponsor of the event for a third successive year.
José Tavares, President of MSDB, was delighted to hear of Els’ participation at this year’s Venetian Macau Open again.
“We are honoured to welcome Mr. Ernie Els to Macau again this coming October. He is without doubt one of the world’s greatest golfers and having a player of his profile at our event is a true reflection of how the Venetian Macau Open continues to grow in stature. The ‘Big Easy’ will definitely be a big draw for golf fans from Macau and further afield.”
Charles Lo, President of the Golf Association of Macau, added, “We are very happy that Ernie Els will be playing in Macau again this year.  He is a living legend in the world of golf and a lot of golfers look up to him. I hope our players can make good use of this opportunity to learn from a true champion.”
Gunther Hatt, Executive Vice President of Operations for Sands China Ltd. believes the participation of Els at the Venetian Macau Open will help generate increased profile and interest for the tournament and the city of Macau itself.
“The tournament is a popular stop on the Asian Tour schedule. Both players and golf fans love coming to Macau. Ernie’s presence will definitely attract a crowd to watch him play and it will be an opportunity for all to experience Macau’s wonderful hospitality and entertainment. Having a world class golfer such as Els in Macau further enhances Macau’s reputation as a top destination in Asia for sport, leisure and business travel. And we’re very excited to be sponsoring Ernie this year as he wears The Venetian Macao logo.”
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “We look forward to Ernie’s participation in the Venetian Macau Open. As our Honorary Member and International Ambassador, it’s great for him to come back to support one of our most prestigious tournaments in the region. His achievements in golf are truly an inspiration to many players. We believe his support will further develop the game in Asia.”
Grant Slack, IMG Senior Vice President added: “The Macau Open is now recognised as the city’s premier annual sporting event and IMG has been involved with the tournament since 2011. Every year the tournament continues to grow with greater prize money and a stronger field.  This is a tournament the players want to play and the participation of Ernie Els is a great reflection of the Venetian Macau Open in terms of competition quality and reputation.”
Entry to the Venetian Macau Open is free so golf fans from around the region can enjoy live, world class golf by Els and many leading Asian Tour players, in one of the best loved destinations for leisure and entertainment travel in Asia.
Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has been graced by the presence of some of the best golfers the world has ever seen, including Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara. This year’s event boasts a total prize fund of US$900,000, an increase of 12.5% compared to last year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Air Macau, Blue Girl, Lamborghini and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macau Open, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com
 About Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government
Macau Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macau SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macau, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macau 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 Macau, 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 Macau.
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 Macau.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macau, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macau teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macau, which helps to represent Macau in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel 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 300 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 Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts 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. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts 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 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….Macao Starts Here. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball) 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
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.