An old hand and a new face will grace next year's edition of golf's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) Singapore Open.
Organisers yesterday revealed that former world No. 1 Adam Scott will make a much-awaited return to the Republic in a bid to lift the trophy for a record-extending fourth time.
Besides the popular Australian, Spanish world No. 11 Sergio Garcia, himself a crowd favourite, will make his maiden appearance at the 51st Singapore Open.
The US$1 million (S$1.35 million) tournament will be played from Jan 19-22 on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, where Scott won the tournament in 2005, 2006 and 2010. On his last appearance in 2012, he finished fifth.
The 36-year-old told the Asian Tour, where he is a four-time winner: "I am looking forward to playing the Serapong again. It will certainly feel like a homecoming of sorts.
"It is hard to believe it has been 11 years since I first played in and won the Singapore Open.
"It was also the first time I had won a national Open and it meant a great deal to me."
Currently ranked seventh in the world, Scott is a 13-time winner on the United States PGA Tour and has triumphed 10 times on the European Tour. He became the first Australian to win the Masters in 2013, his first Major championship.
He has enjoyed a decent season, winning the Honda Classic in February and the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship a week later.
"This is fantastic news for the SMBC Singapore Open," said Takeshi Kunibe, SMBC president and chief executive officer. "I know everyone has been waiting for Adam Scott to return as he has a huge following in Singapore after three fine victories.
"With Sergio Garcia competing as well, we are all in for a real golfing spectacle."
The SMBC Singapore Open is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation, and is the season opener on both circuits.
Korean Song Young Han is the defending champion, having beaten two-time Major champion Jordan Spieth by a stroke in January.
- Tickets for the Open are on sale now and can be purchased at www.apactix.com