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OneAsia will stage historic Philippine Open from 2014

OneAsia will stage historic Philippine Open from 2014

GOLF: The Philippine Open, Asia's oldest national golf championship, will come under the OneAsia umbrella from 2014 in a three-year deal that also boosts the tournament purse to a record U.S. $1 million.

Wednesday 14 August 2013, 12:32PM

The 18th hole of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Manila, home to the Philippine Open.

The 18th hole of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Manila, home to the Philippine Open.

The agreement, announced at a Press Conference in Manila on Wednesday, increases the number of national open championships on the OneAsia calendar to five: the Emirates Australian Open, the Volvo China Open, the Kolon Korea Open, the Philippine Open and the Thailand Open.

"We are delighted to add the Philippine Open to our elite suite of tournaments," said OneAsia Chairman and Commissioner Sang Y. Chun. "National open championships have a prestige that marks them out as the most important professional golf tournament for any country, and the Philippine Open in particular is steeped in history."

Although more details will be released later, the tournament will take place at Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, on the outskirts of Manila, in the early part of the year.

Tommy Manotoc, President of the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP), said the relationship with OneAsia as well as the vast increase in prize money would give the tournament the status and importance it deserves.

The prize fund was just $300,000 when Singapore's Mardan Mamat won in 2012.

"As Asia's oldest open championship we have a history that is unrivalled in the region," said Manotoc. "Joining forces with OneAsia and being part of their calendar will also guarantee our future."

First played in 1913 at Manila Golf Club, the Philippine Open boasts an impressive list of former winners including Australian Peter Thomson in 1964, the year before he won the last of his five Open Championships in Britain.

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Other notable former champions include 14-time PGA Tour winner Bruce Crampton (1959) and fellow Australian Scott Strange (2006) who claimed OneAsia's inaugural Order of Merit title in 2009.

Filipino golfers have dominated the tournament through the ages, winning 35 times, with Larry Montes ruling the roost for a quarter of a century from 1929 to 1954 for 12 titles. The last home winner was Artemio Murakami in 2010.

Founded in 1930 by a prominent American émigré William J. Shaw, the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club is one of the oldest courses in the Philippines and regularly voted by experts and the general public as one of the best in Asia.

It has hosted the Philippine Open dozens of times and also the World Cup of Golf in 1977 when Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido won the team event for Spain and South African Gary Player claimed individual honours.

It is our privilege to open our doors to the public so they too can enjoy our magnificent facilities for the Philippine Open," said Philip Juico, President of the club.

The OneAsia season resumes on October 10 with the third staging of the U.S. $1 million Nanshan China Masters in China's eastern Shandong province.

Four-time OneAsia winner Liang Wenchong -- runner-up to Filipino Frankie Menoza at the 2007 Philippine Open at Wack Wack  -- is the defending champion in a tournament that will also feature Major winners Charl Schwartzel (2011 U.S. Masters) and Darren Clarke (2011 Open Championship).

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