Golf: European Tour to return to Singapore in 2023 after nine-year hiatus

The Singapore Classic will tee off on Feb 9, 2023 at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club. PHOTO: LAGUNA NATIONAL

SINGAPORE - The DP World Tour will return to Singapore in 2023 for the first time in nine years, the European Tour announced on Tuesday (June 21).

The Singapore Classic will tee off on Feb 9, 2023 at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club and return annually as part of a three-year agreement.

The course also hosted during the Tour's last outing here in 2014, when Chilean Felipe Aguilar won The Championship at Laguna National.

With a US$2 million (S$2.77 million) prize purse, the Feb 9-12 tournament by DP World Tour - also known as the European Tour before its rebranding - will be one of the region's top sporting events, organisers said.

Singaporean golfer Koh Dengshan welcomed the event's return, saying: "(It's) always nice to have events in Singapore. It is a good opportunity for us to improve our rankings and creates playing opportunities for us worldwide.

"It's well different from (playing) overseas as we can stay at home and sleep in our own bed!

"Also, it's really nice to be able to have the home crowd supporting you and have family and friends come down and walk with you during tournament rounds."

In a statement on the European Tour website, Laguna National's chairman Peter Kwee said: "The Singapore Masters proved to be a resounding success with so many memorable highlights, including... our very own Mardan Mamat, whose triumph in 2006 remains one of the proudest moments in Singapore's golfing history.

"Now, we're looking forward to building a new championship legacy with the Singapore Classic."

Mardan, 54, added: It's always nice (to play at Laguna National) because of the good memories. It's been more than 15 years since winning the tournament so it's not easy to replicate but if I can win again I will be the happiest man."

European Tour's group chief executive Keith Pelley said: "Asia continues to be an important region for the DP World Tour and we look forward to announcing further exciting events there in due course."

The DP World Tour first visited Singapore for two editions of the Johnnie Walker Classic, won by Major champions Nick Faldo (1993) and Ian Woosnam (1996).

In 2001, the Singapore Masters were held at Singapore Island Country Club before it moved to Laguna National for the next six years.

Four editions of the Singapore Open were then hosted at Sentosa Golf Club from 2009 to 2012 before the Tour's last trip to Laguna National in 2014.

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