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Brunei to host first Asian PGA Tour event

The Asian Tour will break new ground when it stages Brunei 's first ever professional golf tournament, the US$300,000 Brunei Open from June 23-26.

The inaugural Championship will be held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Empire Hotel and Country Club in the sultanate, signalling a significant milestone for the development of golf in the region.

The Brunei Open will be backed by Brunei Tourism and the luxurious Empire Hotel and Country Club, and the timely launch will bring together some of the finest golfers from the Asian Tour including current number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand.

Brunei Tourism Director Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed said after concluding a signing ceremony to launch the Brunei Open today: "This is truly a momentous occasion for Brunei and the development of golf in Asia . We are truly excited to play a significant role in the establishment of the inaugural Brunei Open and we will put in every effort to ensure that this tournament grows and become a premier event on the Asian Tour.

"The launch of the Brunei Open marks a tremendous development for golf in Brunei and in the region and we are hopeful that by staging this event, it will spur greater interest in the development of the game here and also help promote Brunei as a golf tourism destination through television exposure and media coverage."

The stars from the Asian Tour will relish the challenge of playing on the par-71 layout at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, which has been described as a truly magnificent resort. The course is fringed by tropical forest and offers stunning views of the South China Sea .

The Brunei Open is also supported by the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association, and the governing body said the Championship will generate greater interest amongst its junior golfers." We are delighted to be a part of this new and historic event. With Asia 's best professionals set to play here, I am sure our young golfers will benefit immensely by watching the top pros in action.

"It has been one of our visions to stage the Brunei Open on the Asian Tour and the realisation of this tournament is a huge boost for golf here."

Moves are also underway to allow Brunei players to compete in the inaugural tournament.

Empire Hotel General Manager Ms Anne Busfield said: "We are delighted and proud to be associated with the inaugural Brunei Open. Our spectacular golf course is designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus and it is wonderful that we will have the privilege to host the first Brunei Open.

"It is our intention to ensure that our golf course is in immaculate condition to host what we believe will be a great Championship."

The Asian Tour will stage 28 tournaments offering record total prize money of US$20 million this season. The welcome addition of the Brunei Open lends further evidence that Asian golf is growing rapidly, said the Asian Tour's Chief Executive Louis Martin.

"Last year, we staged new tournaments in Hanoi and Shanghai and it gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of the Brunei Open, the first ever professional tournament to be held in Brunei .

"The Asian Tour would like to thank Brunei Tourism and Empire Hotel and Country Club for their support and vision to sponsor the Brunei Open which I am confident will be a great success.

"Asian players have achieved success on the international stage and I'm sure the best golfers from the region will be eager to tee up in the inaugural Brunei Open and challenge for the honour of being the event's first champion," said Martin.

The Brunei Open will be the closing event for the first half of the Asian Tour season.


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