Top officials in joint call to entice world number one for anniversary tournament in 2008 A leading representative of the government has called upon all parties involved in next month's UBS Hong Kong Open to work together to get Tiger Woods here in the future - possibly when the event celebrates its 50th birthday in 2008. 'As a golf fan, I would like to see Tiger play here,' said Herman Hu Shao-ming, chairman of the major sports events committee of the government-funded Sports Commission. 'I would be happy to work with the Hong Kong Golf Association [HKGA] and others to get him down.' Woods, the world number one, will not appear at the Hong Kong showpiece as he is committed to playing at the end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii on November 21-22. Organisers confirmed yesterday that defending champion Colin Montgomerie, and major winners Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell would appear at the US$2 million Hong Kong Open from November 16-19 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. Also appearing are Indian Jeev Milka Singh, leader of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and China's number one Liang Wenchong. 'It is an exciting line-up and one that was hard to keep secret,' said Kathryn Shih, chief executive of UBS (Hong Kong branch), referring to the Sunday Morning Post story three days ago which revealed the star trio would be playing here. 'As for Woods, all I can say is if he would like to play here, we can find a tee time for him,' Shih joked. But the title sponsors know it is no laughing matter when it comes to raising the sort of appearance fee needed - Woods commands close to US$3 million for turning up at events outside the US PGA Tour. HKGA president Hyun Kyung-sup said only a concerted effort from all parties would be able to lure Woods to Hong Kong for the first time. 'We need the support of everyone, including the Hong Kong government and sponsors UBS.' Woods has appeared in the region on many occasions, playing in China, Thailand, Japan and Singapore. But Hong Kong has still to see the 12-time major winner. UBS, which came on board last year, has been instrumental in raising the prize money at the Hong Kong Open from a meagre US$700,000 to US$2 million - second only to the Singapore Open, which offers US$3 million. But even Shih admitted yesterday that they alone would be hard-pressed to find the lucre to underwrite Woods. 'We need the help of the Hong Kong government,' she said. The major sports events committee, which Hu chairs, is one of three committees under the Sports Commission, the body which funds Hong Kong sport with money given by the government. Shih added: 'We are already planning to have a grand celebration for the 50th Hong Kong Open in 2008. We are talking to past winners to come and play here.' They include such illustrious names as Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Jose Maria Olazabal, Padraig Harrington and Montgomerie. For the first time, local players will have to do battle in a qualifying tournament for the Open. 'We will have a qualifying event [on november 6] where 27 players from the Hong Kong PGA, as well as 21 invited amateurs, will vie for five berths in the Open,' revealed HKGA chief executive Iain Valentine.