Hong Kong Open to return to the European Tour next season
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 08/03/16 12:50pm
The Hong Kong Open will make a return to the European Tour schedule for the 2017 season, having missed out on appearing on this year's tournament list.
The $2million (£1.4m) event will be among the opening acts on the 2017 European Tour season and the closing events on the 2016 Asian Tour campaign.
The tournament doesn't feature on this season's schedule for only the second time since the event became affiliated to the European Tour in 2002, but returns as a tri-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association from December 8-11 2016.
Justin Rose is the defending champion after overcoming Lucas Bjerregaard in last year's event, which will also be remembered for Rich Beem handing his tournament invite to Ian Poulter to ensure the Englishman fulfilled his European Tour membership requirements.
"I'm delighted with the news that the UBS Hong Kong will be part of our early 2017 schedule." Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said. "I have said on many occasions that diversity is our strength and to have a tournament in such a vibrant location as Fanling in Hong Kong is a perfect example of that.
"The stature of the champions since the tournament became part of the Tour schedule in 2002 is testament to the quality of the golf course and we all look forward to seeing who will be next to lift the trophy."
Former winners of the event include Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson, with Rory McIlory, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter among the more recent champions.
"The tournament will play a major role in determining the Asian Tour's Order of Merit race at the end of our season which I'm sure will once again provide the excitement and drama so often associated with the UBS Hong Kong Open," Kyi Hla Han, Commissioner, Asian Tour, said.