Els plans Macau birthday bash

Wed 16 Oct 2013

Els plans Macau birthday bash

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Macau, October 16: South African Ernie Els is planning to make it a memorable 44th birthday by winning the Venetian Macau Open starting on Thursday despite almost being blown off course by Typhoon Whipa.
The four-time Major champion, popularly known as “The Big Easy”, will headline a starry field at the US$800,000 Asian Tour event which includes title holder Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, China’s Liang Wen-chong and two-time Macau Open champion Zhang Lian-wei, six former Order of Merit champions including Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee and no fewer than 40 Tour champion.
Els arrived at the Macau Golf and Country Club on Wednesday afternoon after his flight from the United States to Japan was detoured and the subsequent leg to Macau was delayed due to a typhoon.
Despite the jetlag, the South African, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, is feeling upbeat of making it a winning week in Macau.
“I was going to come in early. I flew privately but there was a typhoon in Japan and we couldn’t land in Tokyo and we had to land in Sapporo and we got delayed as no flights could leave the area,” said Els, who left the U.S. late Monday night and took 17 hours to arrive in Macau.
“It’s nice to be here. I’ve never been to Macau. I’ve heard some great things. I spoke to Nicky Price and he’s been here and he told me I’ll be playing on top of a mountain! I’ve got an old friend of mine, Gary Todd caddying so we’re going to have some fun. I’ve got to get my bearing straight first.”
Els, who accepted an invitation to become an Asian Tour honorary member and international ambassador in July, will spend the next three weeks in Asia where he hopes to end his 2013 campaign on a high note.
“I played quite well after the U.S. Open (where he finished fourth). From the British Open right through the PGA Championship and FedEx Cup, I didn’t really catch fire. I was on track until June so unfortunately, I didn’t play too well,” said Els, who was in Las Vegas earlier in the week to raise funds and awareness on autism through his own event, Els for Autism.
“I’ve got my three events in Asia and then I’m going home for a long break and have two months off. Going to get my body strong again and get going next year. Who knows, I can maybe play good this week.”
Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian® Macao-Resort has returned as title sponsor of the event for a second successive year.
The Venetian Macau Open will once again be a free entry event for golf fans from around the world to enjoy live world class professional golf in one of the best loved destinations for leisure and business 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$800,000, an increase of 6.7% compared to last year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian® Macao  in support of the tournament include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera, Twinwoods Wine  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
The Golf Association of Macau is the governing body of golf in Macau and promotes the sport across all levels with the city. It is the co-organiser and official sanctioning body of the Venetian Macau Open.
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; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; 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 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….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Subway Restaurants (Official Quick Service Restaurant) 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.