Major Winner & Team Europe Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke Confirms to Challenge for Prestigious Title in October
(Macao, 19 July, 2016) - The 2016 Venetian Macao Open promises to raise the bar once again as the popular Asian Tour event announced the long overdue return of one of the most highly regarded players in the world of golf – Darren Clarke – will be joining the lineup for this year’s event.
The 2011 Open Championship winner and captain of the European team for the 2016 Ryder Cup will be playing at the Macau Golf & Country Club for first time since 1999 when Lee Westwood of England took home the coveted trophy. Clarke will be joining an illustrious list of Major winners who have graced the fairways of this impressive venue over the years when the action kicks off on 13 – 16 October.
As the most lucrative full field Asian Tour event, Clarke’s participation will further boost the reputation of the US$1.1 million tournament, which has already seen two-time Venetian Macao Open champion Scott Hend of Australia confirm his title defence.
The 48-year-old from Northern Ireland will be an added interest for golf fans in Macao this year with the Venetian Macao Open coming just two weeks after what will arguably be his greatest achievement in the sport if he leads a successful European challenge at Hazeltine in the Ryder Cup 2016.
Asian Tour’s richest tournament this year will likely be Clarke’s first competitive outing after the Ryder Cup, requiring a notable switch in mental approach from being team leader and master tactician to competing alongside fellow professionals as a lone golfer.
But Clarke, whose trophy cabinet boasts one major victory, two World Golf Championship wins and a further 14 International victories, will certainly know what he is up against having closely observed the best players on the Asian Tour while captaining Europe to a convincing 18.5-5.5 win over Asia in the 2016 EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur in January.
Speaking about his return to Macao, the Ulsterman, who finished tied 39th in the 1999 edition, said,
“I’m looking forward to returning to Macao to play at this year’s Venetian Macao Open. I didn’t realise it has been that long since I came, these 17 years have gone by very quickly! The tournament comes shortly after the Ryder Cup campaign which will be a very intense period, so will be looking forward to getting back out on course and playing for myself. It will also feel like new ground for me as it has been so long, and just goes to show that even at my age, there are still plenty of new challenges out there! I remember it as a great event and no doubt it is at a completely different level now. I will make sure I prepare well so I am ready to take on the best on the Asian Tour and put on a good show.”
Pun Weng Kun, President, Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, said:
“We are looking forward to welcoming Darren Clarke to the Venetian Macao Open once again. His reputation and impressive credentials speak for themselves and I am sure his participation will add a great deal of interest to what is already one of the Asian Tour’s marquee events.”
Dr. Wilfred Wong, President of Sands China Ltd., said:
“We’re delighted to see such a distinguished figure commit so early for this year’s Venetian Macao Open. It has always been our intention to use this tournament to showcase the very best of Asian golfing talent combined with some of the true greats of the game, and in Darren Clarke we have exactly that. We look forward to welcoming him to our fabulous city in October.”
Kyi Hla Han, Commissioner, Asian Tour added:
“The inclusion of Darren Clarke is a significant boost for this year’s Venetian Macao Open and once again we commend the organisers of the tournament for continuing to provide a first class spectacle for golf fans in the region. We also look forward to welcoming Darren Clarke back to Asia.”
The 18th edition of the Venetian Macao Open will see a 144-player field compete over four rounds of stroke play, featuring a halfway cut, at the Macau Golf & Country Club. With The Venetian Macao® as the title sponsor, the Venetian Macao Open is jointly organised by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government (MSB) and the Golf Association of Macau. It is sanctioned by both the Asian Tour and the Golf Association of Macau, and promoted by IMG.
For more details on the Venetian Macao Open, please visit: www.thevenetianmacaoopen.com
About Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government (MSB)
Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf , www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf , www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About The Venetian® Macao
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 350 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao – Sands China’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao has transformed a day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao. . With the opening of The Parisian Macao, it will have nearly 13,000hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with more than 850 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, transportation offerings and well over 150 dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and lounges. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is a must-go destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and St. Regis hotels as well as the Holiday Inn. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach. And coming in 2016, the crowning achievement of Sheldon G. Adelson’s vision of the Cotai Strip - The Parisian Macao. For more information, please visit ParisianMacao.com.
For more information about Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao, please visit http://en.sandsresortsmacao.com.
For further information, please contact:
M: +852 9132 4588