Golf: Laguna National to host US$750,000 World Classic Championship

The US$750,000 (S$1.1 million) full-field event will showcase the continent's top hitters.
The US$750,000 (S$1.1 million) full-field event will showcase the continent's top hitters.PHOTO: LAGUNA NATIONAL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

SINGAPORE - Top-flight men's golf action will return to Singapore earlier than expected, when the World Classic Championship tees off at at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club from Nov 12-15.

Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the US$750,000 (S$1.1 million) full-field event will showcase the continent's top hitters like India's Anirban Lahiri, Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee and Singapore No. 1 Mardan Mamat.

It adds to January's Singapore Open, which is returning from a three-year hiatus to the Sentosa Golf Club with a reduced US$1 million prize pot.

For the local galleries, Laguna National will be best remembered as the scene for Mardan's victory at the 2006 Singapore Masters.

The 47-year-old has since gone on to win his fifth Asian Tour title in Bangladesh this year and will look to claim the World Classic Championship crown on the demanding World Classic course.

He said: "I made history there and it holds many fond memories for me.

"The World Classic course is a very challenging golf course and it is going to be a good test for all the players. Fingers crossed, I can produce my 'A' game and contend for the championship."

The Championship at Laguna National, a US$1.5 million event co-sanctioned by both the European and Asian Tours, is no longer on the calendar after its debut last year.

Asian Tour chief executive Mike Kerr welcomed the timely addition of the World Classic Championship. He said: "It's fantastic that our players will have another opportunity to return to Singapore to compete."

Laguna National chairman Peter Kwee added: "While we are currently undergoing extensive expansion and upgrading plans, which include a five-star branded resort hotel and full upgrading of the clubhouse and country club, we felt it was our duty to step up and grow this event for the future with the Asian Tour and IMG.

"Nurturing and hosting such championships has always played a significant part of our long-term commitment towards the growth of the club."