The visionaries behind Brunei's first professional tournament believe the Brunei Open will rival Asia's richest national championships in the near future and along the way uncover its local version of Tiger Woods. The inaugural US$300,000 Brunei Open will make its debut on the Asian Tour at the Empire Hotel and Country Club next week, but officials are already thinking of long-term goals. For a start, they want the Brunei Open to develop into a multimillion-dollar national championship, worthy of taking its place alongside established Opens such as in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. 'This is history for Brunei golf,' said Brunei Tourism Director Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, an avid amateur golfer and one of the prime movers of the Brunei Open. 'This is the first time the government is putting in our resources to host the Brunei Open and it can certainly become bigger and better. A prize fund of US$300,000 is a good start, but we want the Brunei Open to join the family of events that offer prize money of over US$1 million and above. This can be achieved in five years' time, or even sooner.' Golf is still very much in its infancy in Brunei. There are five 18-hole courses and two nine-hole layouts in Brunei to cater for an estimated 3,000 golfers. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Empire course, which overlooks the South China Sea, is the jewel in the crown. The nation, with a population of just 380,000, is determined to produce high-calibre golfers in the mould of Zhang Lianwei of China, Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant or India's Jyoti Randhawa. 'The Brunei Open will create keener interests among our juniors. They can watch golf on television but our kids will benefit greatly by watching the pros with their own eyes. That's one of the reasons why we are bringing the Brunei Open to their doorsteps and entrance is free for them. 'It is our goal to see a Bruneian become world-class in 10 to 15 years. Our children know Tiger Woods and they will see that golf can provide a lucrative career. Brunei Tourism is doing this not only to promote our nation but to create an event that can excite golf fans. Hopefully we can find our very own Tiger,' said Sheikh Jamaluddin.