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AsianTour expands to Vietnam

Carlsberg, one of the largest brewery groups in the world as well as in Vietnam , will title sponsor the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam, a new event which will bring together the best players from the Asian Tour.

The inaugural Carlsberg Masters Vietnam will be staged from November 4-7 at Chi Linh Star Golf and Country Club in Hanoi where Asia 's finest will shoot for US$200,000 in total prize money. Carlsberg has signed a three-year contract with the Asian Tour.

"We are delighted to announce Carlsberg's title sponsorship of a new and exciting event, the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam. Golf in this country is still very much at a developing stage, but it is in a strong growth and this is why we are committed to help the game grow in Vietnam . This new event is going to be the biggest sporting event in Vietnam this year and will put Vietnam on the international golfing map," said South East Asia Brewery Ltd. General Director Henrik J. Andersen.

"Carlsberg has been an avid supporter of international golf for years and this latest commitment is one which we are very hopeful will create a significant impact on the Asian Tour," added Andersen.

With the inaugural event slated towards the tail-end of the season, the leading contenders for the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown are expected to converge in Vietnam to boost their chances of finishing as the Asian number one.

The Carlsberg Masters Vietnam will also be supported by the Hilton Hanoi Opera, the Official Hotel, and a number of other co-sponsors yet to be announced.

Chi Linh Star Golf and Country Club Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doan Van An said the club is proud to be associated with the event. "The launch of a new professional tournament in Vietnam is very exciting indeed. It will further boost the popularity of golf in our country and Chi Linh Star is delighted to be a part of this tremendous development.

"It is our ambition to see the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam enjoy a successful start and grow into one of the top events in the region. We will ensure that our golf course is at its best condition for the players in November," said Doan.

Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han welcomed the new tournament, saying it was a breakthrough development for the players and also for the game in Vietnam .

"It is a tremendous development for the Asian Tour, one which I am confident will boost the popularity of golf in Vietnam and I would like to express our appreciation to Carlsberg and Chi Linh Star Golf and Country Club for sponsoring this new tournament.

"With the launch of the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam, I'm sure we will see more players from the country taking up the game. We are all very excited about the event and our players are fully supportive of this initiative.

"It is wonderful that Carlsberg has committed to a three-year agreement to stage the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam and the Asian Tour will look at ways to help the event grow and assist in the development of local players," said Han.

To help boost the domestic golf scene, organisers have allocated several spots for local amateur players at the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam. Andersen said this move will help players gain exposure as they could tee up alongside the likes of current Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee, Zhang Liang-wei of China and India's Jyoti Randhawa.

The first nine holes at Chi Linh Star Golf Club was opened for play in Hanoi November 2003, with the second nine scheduled to be ready in June 2004. It has already received widespread acclaim and another 18 holes are being planned at the site which lies within a beautiful valley and surrounded by rolling forest hills, and nestles beside a large lake.

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