Hong Kong Open seeks government funding: report
07 Sep 2012 - 04:47:11
Organisers of the Hong Kong Open will seek government funding for the city's oldest golf tournament in a bid to retain big-name players like double-major winner Rory McIlroy, a report said Friday.
The Hong Kong Golf Association said it had yet to secure a title sponsor for the 54-year-old event, scheduled for November 15-18 this year, after previous sponsor UBS ended a six-year partnership last year.
Chief executive Iain Valentine said the association was seeking financial assistance from a government fund, which gave the tournament HK$8 million ($1.03 million) last year, according to the South China Morning Post.
"We hope we will get financial backing from the government once again," Valentine was quoted as saying. He could not be reached for comment by AFP.
The organisers hope world number one McIlroy, who won the US$2.75 million Hong Kong Open last year, will return in November to defend his title.
The 23-year-old Northern Irishman, winner of the 2011 US Open and this year's PGA Championship, is believed to attract large appearance fees.
"Of course his price will have gone up now he has two majors in his bag. But we know he has a soft spot for Hong Kong and we hope he will return," Valentine said.
"It is pretty traditional for the defending champion to come back," he added.