Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Stars seek to shine over award-winning new 

Vietnam course designed by Greg Norman

Ho Tram, Vietnam: Asia’s lone Major champion Y E Yang hopes to rediscover his winning touch at the inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open which starts on Thursday. 
As with most players in the elite 132-man field, the South Korean star, who is an Asian Tour honorary member, was captivated by the picturesque and award-winning The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, which is a Greg Norman design.
Yang will be joined by fellow Major champions Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who is also the Ryder Cup and EurAsia Cup captain for Europe, and Geoff Ogilvy of Australia, winner of the 2006 US Open.
Spanish star Sergio Garcia, reigning Asian Tour number one David Lipsky of the United States and big-hitting Australian Scott Hend, who is ranked second on the Asian Toutr Order of Merit, will also feature in Vietnam’s richest sporting event which includes six former Asian Tour number ones and 15 of the top-20 players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. 
Yang, who capped a famous win at the 2009 US PGA Championship where he defeated then world number one Tiger Woods in a head to head duel , hopes to overcome the blustery conditions in his bid to end a five-year title drought.
“It is very breezy here. It is always difficult when you play in windy conditions but we are all playing under the same conditions. I think luck will play a small factor, depending on where you are in the draw,” said the 43-year-old. 
“This golf course looks so good. It is my first time playing in Vietnam so I’m very excited. My game is getting better but I need to focus more and train harder.”
Yang has posted four top-10s this season, with three of his best outings being in Asia. A win at the Ho Tram Open will certainly give Yang the much needed confidence boost before he heads into a Christmas break to prepare for the new season. 
“It has been good (this season) so I’m really looking forward to next year. I want to try to win this week. I always aim to win when I play in any tournament. Hopefully when the weekend comes, I will be close or at the top,” smiled Yang.
Englishman Oliver Wilson, who holds one win in Europe, is looking forward to his appearance at the Ho Tram Open. “I got in last night and received a five-star arrival,” beamed the 35-year-old Wilson.
“It’s paradise really, a stunning setting. It’s fantastic to be here. I played nine holes this morning and it’s very interesting. It’ll be a fun course to play. It’s windy and you’ve got to really think your way around the course.
" You need to have strategy and to be in the right places. I know they are trying to make it as good as possible – Asia’s Grandest Stage – and so far, from what I’ve seen, I’ve got to agree.” 
While Wilson will be eager for a win in Vietnam, he said Asian golf has improved vastly over the past decade that any of the Asian Tour players could hoist the Ho Tram Open trophy on Sunday. 
 “The standard has improved immensely. When I first came out, most of the guys didn’t swing it that well but they knew how to score. 
“Now, I was thinking about it on the first tee watching about eight or nine guys tee off today and everyone was swinging it really well. The quality of the golf swing is so much better. Now, you see more Asian golfers going straight up into the world’s top-50 or contending in Majors. It’s only going to carry on,” he said. 
Since opening in October 2014, the links-style lay-out, located two hours south-east of Ho Chi Minh City, has been hailed by many of the world’s leading authorities on golf. In January, GOLF Magazine named it one of the world’s best new courses. 
In July, the Australian Financial Review called it “as pretty a course as you’ll find on the entire Asian continent. " 
Last month it was named the world’s best new course at the World Golf Awards ceremony in Portugal.
For more information about the Ho Tram Open including player bios and sponsorship options, visit www.hotramopen.com.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google