After a hiatus of three years, the 50th Singapore Open makes a welcome return to the tour schedule. Sponsored by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the tournament takes place at the world-famous par-72 Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.
Designed in 1982 by renowned architect and designer Ronald Fream who has designed courses all over the world, it is widely recognised as one of the most finely laid out courses in Asia.
It effortlessly merges challenging fairways and rolling greens with the area’s outstanding natural beauty as well as offering stunning views of Sentosa Island, the South China Sea, Singapore Harbour and the iconic skyline of the Garden City.
The tournament is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation and even in January it promises to be one of the most exciting tournaments of the year.
Headlining the tournament is current world number one and PGA Tour Player of the Year Jordan Spieth. Rumoured to have commanded an appearance fee of US$1.2m, the 2015 Masters champion – who tied Tiger Woods’ record-breaking 1997 winning margin of 18 shots – followed his win with victory at the 2015 US Open, the runners-up spot at the PGA Championship and a tie for fourth at The Open.
Speaking to journalists, the young sensation who has taken the golf world by storm said: ‘Playing in the SMBC Singapore Open is something I’m really looking forward to. I’m very fortunate to play golf around the world and can’t wait to visit Singapore for the first time.’ He continued ‘I know the SMBC Singapore Open is one of Asia’s leading events and I couldn’t be more excited to add it to my 2016 playing schedule.’
The hottest name in world golf will be looking to add his name to an impressive list of past champions including three-time winner Adam Scott from Australia (2005, 2006, 2010), Argentinian Ángel Cabrera (2007), British Ryder Cup demi-god Ian Poulter (2009), Spaniard Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño (2011) and Italian Matteo Manassero (2012) – and you can read Matteo’s preview of the tournament here.
But it’s not all about the 22 year old sensation. Two major winners will be chasing him hard in the form of 2011 Open winner Darren Clarke and South Korean YE Yang, who famously beat Tiger Woods at Hazeltine in 2009 to clinch the PGA Championship, becoming the first Asian golfer to win one of the sport’s ‘Big Four’.
Forty-three year old Clarke, who has won 22 tournaments over five different tours, is relishing the fight with the new kid on the block. ‘Jordan Spieth set the bar with his performances [in 2015] and it will be good to take him on at the SMBC Singapore Open. I have played the Singapore Open a number of times and the Serapong Course is a great test of golf; you really need to be on your game around there.’
2015 BMW PGA Championship winner An Byeong-un (known as Ben An) also from South Korea, is also looking for glory but knows that taking on the world’s best golfer will be challenge. ‘The competition for the SMBC Singapore Open title will be fierce with a lot of great players in the field. Any time Jordan Spieth is in the line-up, there is a special buzz about the tournament.’
Played from 28-31 January, the 2016 SMBC Singapore Open features the top 60 players from the Asian Tour, the top 60 from the JGTO, the best professionals and amateurs from Singapore plus a number of the world’s top 50 players.
If you’re in Singapore at the end of January and want to come and see some great golf at an incredible course, you can buy tickets through the official SMBC Singapore Open website here.
Good luck to everyone!