Stellar field primed for Venetian Macau Open

Fri 17 Oct 2014

Stellar field primed for Venetian Macau Open

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Macau, October 17: The Venetian Macau Open will boast one of its strongest ever fields with seven Asian Tour Order of Merit champions, led by reigning number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat, and 18 of the top-20 ranked players headlining the prestigious event alongside marquee names Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez next week.
Australian big-hitter Scott Hend will defend his crown at the US$900,000 full-field Asian Tour tournament at the Macau Golf and Country Club from October 23 to 26 which will include past champions American Jason Knutzon, Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin and Australian David Gleeson.
Current Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States will tee up in his second Venetian Macau Open where he hopes to cement his position ahead of second-ranked Anirban Lahiri of India and Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna, who has been one of the season’s revelations.
Thai great Thongchai Jaidee, the only man to win three Order of Merit crowns, will be one of the favourites to win the Venetian Macau Open following another superb season highlighted by a victory at the Nordea Masters in Sweden.
Ranked 41st in the world, Thongchai enjoyed a tied eighth finish at the majestic Macau Golf and Country Club two years ago and he will be eager to add the Venetian Macau Open to his impressive list of Asian Tour victories which currently stands at 13 titles.
Other former number Asian number ones in the fray include the evergreen Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, the Indian trailblazing trio Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa, and China’s Liang Wen-chong, who will be hoping to emulate countryman Zhang Lian-wei’s double victory in Macau.
The 26-year-old Lipsky was triumphant in Switzerland last month which shot him up the Merit list. He will be fired up to make up for his missed cut appearance in his Macau debut two years ago.
“It was my last event in a seven-week stretch, so I’m looking forward to playing the event feeling refreshed and with a bit more focus,” said Lipsky. “I have to play well for the rest of the year to lock it (Order of Merit title) up but I’m in a good spot right now.”
Lahiri, victorious in Indonesia in April, will be aiming to repeat the fireworks from last year’s final round where he fired a course record equaling 62 to finish second behind Hend.
“That final round in Macau was fantastic. I remember playing on the last day with Arjun Atwal for the first time and it was really fun. I enjoyed myself and I played a good round. I’m looking forward to playing well again,” said the 27-year-old.
With an all-time high prize purse on offer, thanks to the support of The Venetian Macao®, Lahiri lauded the event’s growth where past winners include luminaries such as Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.
“It’s exciting to see the growth of Venetian Macau Open. A few years back, we didn’t have the event and to have it back and to have it grow consistently, it’s a fantastic thing for the Asian Tour. It’s very positive for the Tour when you have a tournament that keeps growing in stature. It now attracts good players. Ernie is one of the main attractions because of his association with Venetian and the Asian Tour. As an event, it becomes one of those events that everybody wants to play in,” said Lahiri.
With a high-quality field assembling in Macau, Hend knows he must produce his “A” game to repeat as champion. “Hopefully I’ll be in form. I’m sure the golf course will be fantastic and Macau is a great place. It’ll be good to go back to courses where you’ve won before,” said Hend, who won three events on the Asian Tour last year to finish second on the Order of Merit.
Els, who is the Asian Tour’s International Ambassador and Honorary Member, will feature in his second Venetian Macau Open after finishing tied third last year. Els and The Venetian Macao have created a partnership.  Els will wear The Venetian Macao logo on his right collar, back of hat and back yolk at the Venetian Macau Open.
“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,” said the four-time Major champion.
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 Venetian Macao is the title sponsor of the event for a third successive 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), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.