| James Kon |
THE Sultanate will stage the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event – The Brunei Championship from March 7-10, 2018 at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
The inaugural ADT event which offers a US$60,000 prize will mark the country’s first professional golf tournament in eight years with the spotlight of the world golfing scene falling on Brunei once again. The event is supported by Tourism Brunei under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism; and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Associated with the Asian Tour, Brunei Championship will be featured in the golfing media channel where 30-minute highlights of the programme will be aired in 78 countries.
A total of 132 professional golfers from 20 nationalities comprising the region’s rising stars as well as the international cast on the ADT is set to battle out on the championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Ten local golfers are also invited to battle against some of the best golfers in Asia in the Brunei Championship.
The details were released at a press conference yesterday chaired by Haji Mohd Junaidi, Chairman of the organising committee, Cho Mint That, the Chief Operating Officer of ADT and Stan Everitt, the Director of Golf in The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Attending the press conference were Haji Noor Jusmin bin Haji Abdul Samad, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and other officials.
Cho Mint That welcomed Brunei to the list of pit stop for the Asian Development Tour event.
According to him, some of the big names who have played in the ADT and have progressed to the Asian Tour are Thailand’s trio Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Poom Saksansin and Phachara Khongwatmai, Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Nicholas Fung with reigning ADT order of merit champion Johannes Veerman of the US.
“Pavit, Poom, Fung, Chan and Green are former multiple time winners on the region’s secondary circuit and have broken through on the region’s premier tour in recent years,” Cho said.
He said, “We are extremely proud that the Asian Development Tour has helped in the development of the career of these players.”
The Asian Development Tour, he explained “also received world golf ranking points which is pivotal for the selection to the Olympic.
“Siddikur Rahman and Gavin Green went on to the Olympics based on the world golf ranking acquired from the ADT.
“We would also like to give the opportunity to Brunei’s golfers to compete against the best in the region and hopefully develop their skills in the golfing stage. We hope to see Bruneians win the Asian Development Tour in the near future.”
Speaking on Brunei hosting the ADT, he said, “Brunei is no stranger to professional golf tournament and personally I have a great affiliation for Brunei because my first ever professional golf tournament was staged – the 2007 Brunei Open.”
He said, “We have held successful tournaments in Sarawak, Miri, and Labuan. It’s a natural progression to be held in Brunei to put the country on the golfing map.”
Cho Mint That thanked SPS innovative Enterprise for the prize of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali praised the initiative to bring the Asian Development Tour to Brunei.
He said, “This event is definitely an opportunity to boost Brunei’s tourism especially in golfing as the event will be featured in several countries. We are positioning Brunei to show the world of our capability in successfully organising a major event and hopefully, we can host more major golfing events in future.”
The deputy permanent secretary also believed that Sport tourism especially golfing, is growing in the country, attracting golfers from overseas.