Hong Kong Open Sanctioned by European Tour

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The Hong Kong Open's status in the world of golf will be elevated to a new level this year when for the first time in its 43-year history it will be joint-sanctioned by the Davidoff Tour and European Tour.
 
The four-day event, which will be played at the Hong Kong Golf Club at the end of November, will boast 60 players from the Davidoff Tour and 60 from the European Tour.
 
In addition to the event's new status, it will also benefit hugely from a $200,000 increase in prize money. Last year the overall purse was raised to half-a-million dollars but this year it will be a record $700,000.
 
'This is an exciting move for the Hong Kong Open that will strengthen the quality of the field and increase exposure of the tournament internationally,' said Eric White, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association.
 
Some of the biggest names in golf have won the Hong Kong Open, including Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam.
 
The Hong Kong Open will be the fourth and final event of the year to be joint-sanctioned between Asia and Europe. The Carlsberg Malaysian Open, Caltex Singapore Masters and BMW Asian Open in Taiwan are the others.
 
Ken Schofield, Executive Director of The European Tour, said: 'We are delighted to be joining forces again with the Davidoff Tour when the Hong Kong Open becomes the second counting event towards the 2002 Volvo Order of Merit.
 
'Earlier this season we spent two weeks in Asia for the Carlsberg Malaysian Open and the Caltex Singapore Masters, both won by Vijay Singh, now an Honorary Member of The European Tour, and we look forward to returning in November for the BMW Asian Open followed by the Hong Kong Open.'
 
Last year Dyson finished with a four-round aggregate of 21-under-par 263 to take the title and claim the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit. Victory in Hong Kong will earn the winner a three-year exemption on the European Tour.
 
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