Press Release Summary: The 50th edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open will also see a first for the historic showpiece - its inaugural international qualifying event.
Press Release Body: Dozens of hopefuls will tee it up at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club in Johor, Malaysia on November 4 to battle for three slots available in the main tournament.
Title sponsor UBS has pushed strongly for the international event to be initiated as it looks to enhance the Hong Kong Open's already stellar reputation.
The European and Asian Tours - which co-sanction the UBS Hong Kong Open - and the Hong Kong Golf Association have each given up an automatic slot in the main draw to accommodate the qualifiers.
The initiative means that international players who would normally miss out on entry to the UBS Hong Kong Open will, for the first time, have a shot at joining in the showpiece.
Previously, qualifying has been limited to a domestic tournament for Hong Kong players.
"Since UBS first partnered with the Hong Kong Open in 2005, we have seen the interest of players, fans and the media continue to grow regionally and internationally," said Chi-Won Yoon, Country Head and CEO, UBS Hong Kong Branch.
"To further underline the importance of this marquee Asia Pacific golf event, we are delighted that for the first time in the event's history the UBS Hong Kong Open is conducting a truly open, international qualifying tournament which will offer even more of the world's and the region's best players, professionals and amateurs alike, the chance to participate in this prestigious championship.
"The UBS Hong Kong Open remains one of the crown jewels of the Asian game 49 years after Lu Liang Huan won the first Open. Together with our partners at the Hong Kong Golf Association and the Asian and European Tours, all of us at UBS are very proud to have been a part of this exciting tournament."
The 50th edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open will be staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling from November 20-23.
The US$2.5 million tournament is the oldest professional sports event in Hong Kong and has a history and heritage that no other tournament in Asia can match.
It is one of only two tournaments of significance - the other being the Masters at Augusta National in the USA - to have been held at the same venue for 50 years or more.
The UBS Hong Kong Open domestic qualifying tournament will be held at Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course from November 10-11.