Golf: American Pat Perez to join SMBC Singapore Open line-up

Pat Perez of the United States talks on the range during the third round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Nov 11.
Pat Perez of the United States talks on the range during the third round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Nov 11. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - American Pat Perez will make his debut in the US$1 million (S$1.35 million) SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club next year, organisers confirmed on Monday (Nov 27).

The American hit the headlines in Kuala Lumpur last month when he claimed his third title on the PGA Tour.

He joins an impressive line-up of players including reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia from Spain and South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, for the Jan 18-21 tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation.

Tournament organisers also revealed that for the second successive year, the tournament will be part of The Open Qualifying Series - with the top-four finishers making it through to The 147th Open at Carnoustie.

And next year's event will also see a Monday qualifier played at the start of tournament week with three places up for grabs in what will be the 52nd edition of Singapore's national Open.

"This is a great opportunity to play somewhere new and in an event that has an excellent reputation," said the 41-year-old Perez in a statement. "Things have been going very well for me and I want to capitalise on my form and play more and win more."

His participation comes as he is enjoying a career renaissance after an enforced layoff because of a shoulder injury.

Since his return to the game on a medical exemption in 2016, he has won twice on the PGA Tour - the more recent coming at what was the start of the Asian swing in Malaysia.

He shot a final-round 69 at TPC Kuala Lumpur for a 24-under total of 264. That win saw him rise to a career high of 20th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Following the triumph, a tied-fifth finish at The CJ Cup @Nine Bridges and equal 24th at the WGC Champions event in Shanghai saw Perez top the early season FedExCup rankings.

Tickets for the Jan 18-21 SMBC Singapore Open can be purchased by visiting www.smbcsingaporeopen.com, with early bird tickets available till Thursday (Nov 30).