THE $300,000 Solaire Open firing off April 11 will be one of the two new events to be featured on the lucrative Asian Tour with organizers guaranteeing a wide-open battle for the top prize of US$54,000 (P2.16 million) at Wack Wack’s fabled East layout.
Solaire Resort and Casino, the country’s latest integrated destination resort, will be the title sponsor as the region’s premier circuit continues to expand across Asia.
“This is a very exciting venture for Solaire Resort and Casino and we look forward to a successful inaugural Solaire Open in April,” said Solaire Resort and Casino chairman and president Ricky Razon.
The four-day championship, to be bannered by the region’s top guns including the best of country’s shotmakeres, will be one of two new events to be featured on the 2013 Asian Tour schedule during the first half of the season following the Chiangmai Golf Classic last week.
Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol and Singaporean Mardan Mamat head the foreign bets along with former Asian Tour winners Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and Swede Rikard Karlberg, and Filipino stars Frankie Minoza, Angelo Que, Antonio Lascuna and Miguel Tabuena, reigning Asian Development Tour Order of Merit champion Jay Bayron and former Asian Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han expressed gratitude to Solaire Resort and Casino for its support, saying he believes professional golf in the Philippines will continue to flourish with continued backing from various corporate sponsors.
Solaire’s sponsorship of the event is also aimed at further luring tourists to the country’s latest resort and casino and promoting the Philippines as a top tourist destination.
“Solaire Resort and Casino is master planned and designed to become a leading destination in Asia and, through the staging of an international tournament on the Asian Tour, the Solaire Open will certainly promote our resort and country across the world through vast television and media exposure,” said Razon.
“On behalf of the Asian Tour, I would like to thank Mr. Razon and Solaire Resort and Casino for the sponsorship and commitment towards the betterment of professional golf in the Philippines,” said Han.
Over the past nine seasons, Que, Minoza, Artemio Murakami and Pagunsan have notched a combined total of six Asian Tour victories with Pagunsan becoming the second Filipino, after Minoza in the 1990s, to win the Order of Merit following a stand-out year in 2011.
“We are delighted to forge a partnership with the Asian Tour which continues to lead the development of professional golf in the Philippines and across Asia. It is also our vision to support pro golf at the highest level in Asia, and we will put in every effort to make it a successful tournament that the Philippines can be proud of,” said Razon, Jr.