High-flying Garcia on a mission #HoTramOpen

Wed 02 Dec 2015

High-flying Garcia on a mission #HoTramOpen

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Ho Tram, Vietnam, December 2: World number 12 Sergio Garcia is on a mission to win the inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open which tees off at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course on Thursday.
The Spanish superstar, who is the highest ranked golfer in the richest full field Asian Tour tournament, made a grand entrance at the award-winning Greg Norman-designed venue yesterday, stepping out elegantly from a helicopter ride in a full tuxedo ala James Bond style.
Apart from having the licence to thrill golf fans at Vietnam’s biggest sporting event, the 35-year-old Garcia, who holds 22 Tour victories including four in Asia, will be seeking to end his year with a first title of the year.Sergio Garcia 2
He will face a strong line-up of stars led by Major champions Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Y.E. Yang of Korea and Australian Geoff Ogilvy while Jeev Milkha Singh of India will be amongst the 40 Tour winners including Scott Hend of Australia, Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Malaysia’s Danny Chia fighting for the Ho Tram Open title.
Garcia is determined to finish the year on a high note to set himself up for a big season ahead in 2016 which includes the Ryder Cup and Olympic Games. He also lavished praise on The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, which was recently named the World’s Best New Course at the World Golf Awards in Portugal recently.
The hotel looks really nice. I took a view of the course from a helicopter ride in (from Ho Chi Minh city) and it looks really nice. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hilly because everything else looks flat here. It is going to be nice to have a good look today (in the pro-am), get some notes and be ready for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting over my jetlag and getting more sleep. I want to be as fresh as possible for the whole week,” said the Spaniard.
"When I heard about Vietnam, and what was happening here in Ho Tram especially, I was excited because I’ve also never been to this part of Asia,” said the well-traveled 35-year-old. “So there was never any, ‘Should I go or should I not?’ It was a very easy decision.”
Four top-10s and two tied 11th finishes in Asia last month have been amongst Garcia’s season highlights but he knows wrapping up 2015 with a title will be a good boost for the year ahead. “Next year is a massive year. It is the Ryder Cup, which is very important to all of us including me. We have the Olympics and four Majors. There are a lot of great things happening. It has the potential to be an amazing year,” said Garcia.
“We represent our countries everywhere we go but we never had to possibility to do it at the Olympic Games. I’m really excited at the possibility of being an Olympian and meeting some of the other athletics. It is a great opportunity and a massive year,” he added.
(L-R) Brian McFadden and Robert Rock of England (L-R) Brian McFadden and Robert Rock of England
Former British Open champion Clarke, who is also captain for Europe in the Ryder Cup and EurAsia Cup, believes experience will the deciding factor this week. “You have to look at the more experienced guys here as it’s not just about hitting it 400yards down the fairway so someone like Sergio controls it as well as he does, he will be a tough man to beat. Control is very important this week,” said the 47-year-old.
After taking a much needed week’s break, big-hitting Hend, who is second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, is ready to contend at the Ho Tram Open as he seeks a second win of the season. “Prize money is irrelevant, I just want to have another title. I’ve had a pretty good year. I’m here to try to win and secure second place on the money list,” said Hend.
Malaysian Chia is also keen on a strong showing in Vietnam to help secure his place in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM next month. He currently sits in the fourth and final slot available through the Order of Merit and needs to maintain his position until December 14.
“The EurAsia Cup is definitely on my mind. It will be good if I can finish as the fourth highest Asian player. My game is feeling good although I need to make a lot of adjustments in my swing to overcome the wind,” said Chia, the only Malaysian to win multiple times on the Asian Tour.
Englishman Robert Rock, who is The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip ambassador, believes the launch of the Ho Tram Open will help grow the game in Vietnam. “We are working with juniors to try and start a bit more interest in golf. The important part is having a golf tournament so the world can see that Vietnam can stage an amazing tournament.
“You need these big tournaments with big players so the interest is there for the kids. I grew up watching players like Seve (Ballesteros), Nick Faldo and Greg Norman. We have great players here and they are doing that job now for us,” said the two-time European Tour winner.
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style layout located two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City has been hailed by many of the world’s leading authorities on golf. In January, GOLF Magazine named it one of the world’s best new courses. In July, the Australian Financial Review called it “as pretty a course as you’ll find on the entire Asian continent. Last month it was named the World’s Best New Course at the World Golf Awards ceremony in Portugal.
Danny Chia of Malaysia Danny Chia of Malaysia
For more information about the Ho Tram Open including player bios and sponsorship options, visit www.hotramopen.com.
About Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd
Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd. (ACDL) is an international development company specializing in integrated resort destinations. ACDL, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ho Tram Project Company Ltd, is the developer of the Ho Tram Strip, a group of integrated resorts and residential development located on more than 400 acres of land with more than two kilometers of pristine beach in Ho Tram, Vietnam and an approved Investment Certificate issued by the Government of Vietnam. With a focus on providing a personalized blend of excitement and relaxation, the Ho Tram Strip will feature something for everyone, from lavish entertainment to premium shopping and exceptional recreational facilities.
The first phase of its development – The Grand Ho Tram Strip – opened its doors in 2013 and includes a 541 room five-star hotel, a world-class entertainment facility, restaurants, high-tech meeting space, an exclusive VIP area, three swimming pools, as well as a variety of beach-front recreation activities. The Ho Tram Strip is one of the region’s largest integrated resort projects with major future development phases including an additional 559 rooms and further leisure amenities that will complete The Grand Ho Tram Strip.  Adjacent to The Grand, the 18 hole Greg Norman designed Championship golf course – The Bluffs – opened for play in early 2014.  Future developments at the site will include a residential offering, a second integrated resort similar in size and scale to The Grand, and three additional five star resorts.
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), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), 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.comwww.facebook.com/asiantourgolf,www.twitter.com/asiantourgolfwww.youtube.com/theasiantour