Golf

HONG KONG - DECEMBER 01: A flag during the first round of  the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 1, 2011 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - DECEMBER 01: A flag during the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 1, 2011 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

UBS has confirmed that it is returning as the title sponsor of the Hong Kong Open – Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event.

Sponsor of the tournament between 2005 and 2012, UBS has renewed its backing of the event with a multi-year commitment to support the Hong Kong Open, which will mark its 57th playing at the Hong Kong Golf Club between 22 and 25 October 2015.

Kathryn Shih, Head of UBS Wealth Management APAC, said: “We are delighted to renew our long-standing relationship with the UBS Hong Kong Open. Over five decades the Hong Kong Open has established itself as one of Hong Kong’s premier sporting events and continues to rank as one of Asia’s most popular tournaments.

“Not only does the tournament’s high profile across the region fulfil our business and brand needs across key markets but it is also an effective platform for us to support the communities in which we operate,” said Ms Shih.

Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to welcome UBS back to The European Tour and specifically the Hong Kong Open. Having sponsored the tournament between 2005 and 2012, there is a sense of being reunited with an old friend in one of The European Tour’s most exciting destinations.

“We would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the incredible support that we have received from the Hong Kong Golf Club over the past three years.

“Without its commitment to Hong Kong’s oldest professional golf tournament, we would not have been able to accord the event the prestige which it deserves. We look forward to working with our friends at UBS, Fanling, the Asian Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association to make the 2015 edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open one of the best yet.”

Mr Kyi Hla Han, Chairman of the Asian Tour, said: “We are delighted to welcome UBS back as the title sponsor and look forward to working with them again in further promoting golf in Asia.”

Mr Mark Chan, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association commented on the new sponsorship saying, “The Hong Kong Golf Association would like to thank UBS for returning as title sponsor of the Hong Kong Open. Thanks must also go to the Mega Events Fund the generous support of which will, I am sure, underpin its success.”

“UBS has been a wonderful supporter of the Hong Kong Open and I’m sure the tournament will go from strength to strength,” said Kenneth Lam, Captain of The Hong Kong Golf Club.

UBS’s previous title sponsorship of the Hong Kong Open coincided with a growth in the tournament’s prize purse from USD 700,000 to USD 2.75 million and the appearance of some of the world’s leading players including previous Hong Kong Open champions Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jiménez.

With UBS’s return as title sponsor, the prize purse for the UBS Hong Kong Open 2015 will be increased to USD 2.0 million in 2015, up from USD 1.3 million in 2014.

The Hong Kong SAR Government’s Mega Events Fund supported the tournament in 2011 and 2012 and has extended its commitment to the 2015 tournament.

Sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, the UBS Hong Kong Open, which was first played in 1959, has become one of the most popular destinations on The European Tour.

Past champions include Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson and, more recently, José Maria Olazábal, Padraig Harrington, McIlroy, Poulter, Jiménez and Colin Montgomerie.