After a three-year absence, Singapore’s iconic national Open will make a welcome return with a new title sponsor and sanctioning partner.
Last staged in 2012, the SMBC Singapore Open is set to thrill local golf fans and global audiences alike when it roars back to life from January 28 to 31, 2016 at the scene of past dramatic editions, the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), one of Japan’s leading financial institutions and a growing presence in the banking sector in Asia and worldwide, has taken on the mantle as title sponsor with this landmark three-year association with golf in Singapore.
“We are honoured to be the title sponsor and support the tournament as the SMBC Singapore Open,” said Mr. Masayuki Shimura, Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific Division, SMBC.
“The Singapore Open has great history, great champions, and is recognized globally as one of the premier golf tournaments. We look forward to adding to that legacy and further expanding our corporate brand in Asia with our growing focus to the region, as well as contributing to the expansion of golf in Asia through the development of the next generation golfers in Asia.”
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han was effusive. “The Singapore Open was always one of our best events and one that our members strove to compete well in. It is tremendous to have it back as it is an important event for our region and our tour. On behalf of our members I would like to thank SMBC for their support and we eagerly look forward to teeing it up a year from now.”
Further emphasising the new direction of the event, the SMBC Singapore Open will be co-sanctioned for the first time by previous partner the Asian Tour and a new partner in the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO).
“The JGTO is honoured to have been invited to sanction the SMBC Singapore Open. The opportunity for our members to compete in such a world class event is truly exceptional and we thank SMBC, the Asian Tour, the Singapore Golf Association and World Sport Group for this opportunity. I am certain our members will relish the chance to play here and undoubtedly want to add their name to the list of formidable champions,” added Katsuji Ebisawa, chairman of the JGTO.
With a minimum prize purse of US$1million, the SMBC Singapore Open will also entice some of the world’s best players to tackle the award winning Serapong Course.
Home to the event from 2005 to 2012, the Serapong Course will once again prove a stern test to Asia Pacific’s and the world’s best players. Australian star Adam Scott won the event a record three times in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
“Golfing fans in Singapore can once again mark the dates in their calendar in anticipation of our national Open. It makes it more fitting that we are able to announce those dates, exactly one year from when the first ball will be struck in the next edition of our prestigious championship. The Singapore Golf Association (SGA) is grateful to SMBC and World Sport Group for their commitment to the event and I am certain that its tradition of excellence will remain unrivalled,” said Mr Bob Tan, President of the SGA.
“The chance for our home talent, both professional and amateur, to test their mettle on a stage such as this only augers well for the development of the game.”
The SMBC Singapore Open will feature a field of the top 60 from the Asian Tour, top 60 from the JGTO, top Singapore professionals and amateurs and invites including players from the top 50 in the world.