Star pair back for Open

Sports | 23 Oct 2019

Francesco Molinari will return to the Hong Kong Open for the first time in 10 years, joining fellow Major winner Patrick Reed in the hunt for the title in the opening event of the European Tour's Race to Dubai series.

The 36-year-old Italian had his best campaign at the HongKong Golf Club in 2008 when he and Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy lost in a playoff to Taiwanese Lin Wen-tang.

"I have good memories from the Hong Kong Open and it's certainly the goal to go one better this time around," said Molinari, the 2018 British Open champion and a six-time European Tour winner. "It will be a great way to kick off my 2020 Race to Dubai campaign, hopefully getting some points on the board early in the season, and to play a world-renowned course. I am looking forward to going back."

American Reed, ranked 17th in the world, will make his fourth appearance in the tournament, which will run from November 28 to December 1.

"I've been saying for a while now that I would love to win in countries all over the world, so I hope I can be in the mix come Sunday at the Hong Kong Open," said the 29-year-old Reed, who is still to win on the European Tour.

Molinari and American Reed will be joined in the event by Swede Henrik Stenson, the 2016 British Open winner who confirmed his participation some weeks ago.

Having the three veterans for the tournament "is great for the development and growth of golf" in the SAR, according to Kenneth Lam, president of the Hong Kong Golf Association.

William Doo, Jr, the captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said the three Major winners will "add real star-quality to a fantastic week of world-class golf at one of Asia's most historic tournaments."

Molinari is coming off his best year as a professional. Apart from winning the British Open in 2018, he also played a role in Europe's Ryder Cup win over the United States.

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