Asian Tour stars ready to light up UBS Hong Kong open

AT FlagHong Kong: An impressive line-up of Asian Tour stars spearheaded by five former Asian Tour number ones will light up the US$2 million UBS Hong Kong Open next week.

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee, Liang Wen-chong of China, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines as well as India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, who have won a combined total of eight Order of Merit crowns will feature in the prestigious event.

They will be joined by current Order of Merit leader Scott Hend of Australia, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, who have all enjoyed a magical season where they won twice on the region’s premier Tour.

More than 40 Asian Tour champions will head to the Hong Kong Golf Club in hope of ending the season on a high note as the UBS Hong Kong Open will be the final stop on the Asian Tour’s 2016 Schedule.

Defending champion and Olympic Gold medalist Justin Rose of England, Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who have won a record equaling four Hong Kong Open titles, will also feature in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

After struggling with a wrist injury in recent years, Bhullar returned to his best form by winning two events in Korea and Indonesia in 2016 as he sits in ninth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

He will arrive at the UBS Hong Kong Open in impressive form and will be motivated to better last year’s tied 13th place result in the event.

“I’m working hard on my game. I couldn’t work hard on my game because of the injury previously but things are really working out now. I’m happy the hard work has paid off. How many titles do I want to win? I’m gunning for more than 10 Asian Tour wins and I’m going to work harder to achieve my goals,” said Bhullar.

With the UBS Hong Kong Open being the last Asian Tour event in 2016, players such as Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Scott Barr of Australia, Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand and Javi Colomo of Spain are hoping to break into the top-60 on the Order of Merit to retain their Asian Tour cards for 2017.

“Every tournament is important to me. But I do need to try and boost my ranking on the Order of Merit. The game has been a little off but I am gaining back some confidence. I have been working on my putting. The putter hasn’t been performing well as of late so I hope it will do some magic soon,” said Mardan, ranked 63rd on the Order of Merit.

Entry to the first two rounds of this year's tournament on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December will be free of charge. Those aged under 21 will be admitted free of charge for all four days of the tournament, as the organisers push to introduce the game to wider segments of the Hong Kong community in 2016.Asian Tour Stars ready to light up UBS Hong Kong Open

Following the success of the inaugural event last year, the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup will return on 14 December with local singer and artist, Alan Tam, as Official Ambassador. The HK$2.3 million was raised in 2015 for three local charities, making it the most successful fundraising initiative for the entire European Tour season.