Ace PGA quartet set to tee up for the HK Open

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am

Major winners Weir and Goosen among big names for US$2m event

Tiger-tamer Mike Weir will spearhead a quartet of PGA tour aces at next month's UBS Hong Kong Open.

The former Masters champion - fresh from his stunning victory over Tiger Woods in the Presidents Cup at the weekend - will be joined by two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen, rising star Trevor Immelman and world number nine K.J. Choi at the US$2 million showpiece.

The four - who boast 20 PGA Tour victories between them - will be among the title favourites when the open is staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling on November 15-18.

Chinese number one and Asian Tour UBS Order of Merit leader Liang Wenchong has already been signed up to lead what promises to be a powerful Asian challenge.

Left-hander Weir and Immelman - the 2006 PGA Tour rookie of the year - will be making their Hong Kong debuts. The pair, along with Goosen, will then go to Shenzhen the following week to take part in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at the Mission Hills Golf Club.

With his Masters victory at Augusta in 2003, Weir became only the second left-hander to win a major - 40 years after Bob Charles won the British Open - and the first Canadian to do so. He has seven PGA Tour victories to his name and this year finished joint eighth at the British Open at Carnoustie.

He will head to Fanling full of confidence after his thrilling 1-up victory over world number one Woods in their Presidents Cup singles match, played in front of adoring Canadian fans at the Royal Montreal Golf Club on Sunday.

'I'm really looking forward to playing in Hong Kong for the first time,' said Weir. 'It's always exciting to take on a new challenge and I've heard great things about the Hong Kong Open and the galleries.'

'The tournament has had some great champions down the years, but never one from Canada, so I'll be doing my best to be the first.'

Immelman claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory at last year's Cialis Western Open to add to his three European Tour successes.

Goosen, winner of the US Open in 2001 and 2004, will be making his second appearance in Hong Kong.

The South African was the star attraction last year but disappointed organisers and the fans by missing the cut. 'I let myself down on the greens,' he said at the time and vowed to come back.

'It's a challenging course that tests every aspect of a player's game and puts the accent firmly on accuracy,' Goosen added. 'I know there will be a top-class field with plenty of contenders for the title and hopefully I'll be one of them on the final day.'

Choi, the world's top-ranked Asian player, is enjoying a storming year with two PGA Tour victories - taking his career total to six - and five other top-10 finishes.