Golf

Singapore Open to return

2015-01-28 11:26
(File)
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Singapore - The Singapore Open, once billed as "Asia's Major", will return next year for the first time since 2012 with a new title sponsor, organisers said Wednesday.

The Asian Tour said in a statement that Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) had signed a three-year deal to be the main sponsor of the event at Singapore's Sentosa Golf Club.

The tournament, formerly one of the region's richest with prize money of $6 million when last held in November 2012, was cancelled in 2013 when British bank Barclays decided not renew its sponsorship.

"The Singapore Open was always one of our best events... it is tremendous to have it back as it is an important event for our region and our tour," Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han said in the statement.

"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," Kyi added.

Masayuki Shimura, SMBC's managing director, told reporters at a press conference in Singapore that it was a "great honour" for the Japanese firm to revive the tournament.

"We are always looking to invest in major sporting events in the region and the Singapore Open is certainly one of them," he said.

Financial details of the sponsorship deal were not released but the Asian Tour said the tournament, to be held from January 28-31 next year, will have a "minimum prize purse of US$1 million".

Despite the big money involved in the Singapore Open's previous editions, it had at times struggled to attract top-quality fields in a congested part of the season.

The tournament, which dates back to 1961, has previously featured the likes of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and current world number one Rory McIlroy.

Australia's Adam Scott is a three-time winner, in 2005, 2006 and 2010, while Italy's Matteo Manassero won the last edition in 2012.

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