Superstars sought for HK Open
With HK$8 million in his pocket, Hong Kong Golf Association's newly elected president David Hui Chun-yue has gone shopping at the Open, hoping to add superstar power to the US$2.75 million UBS Hong Kong Open in December.
Hui will press the flesh with the likes of Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the world's number one and two, and Germany's world number three Martin Kaymer in a bid to convince them to appear at the December 1-4 event in Fanling.
For the first time in the 52-year history of the Hong Kong Open, the HKGA will negotiate from a position of strength, thanks to the government pumping in HK$8 million from its Mega Events Fund.
'I believe we will have our best-ever field in December. UBS has already snared Rory McIlroy and he will be one of the major draws. But I think we might have a couple more big names as well,' HKGA chief executive Iain Valentine said.
US Open champion McIlroy signed a two-year deal last year with UBS guaranteeing his presence.
'Our event comes a week after the World Cup in Hainan and there is every chance we can get some big names to stop over on their way home,' Valentine said. 'We are even looking at getting players from the US PGA who normally stay away.'