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Golf: Els gambles on third time lucky at Venetian Macao Open

Ernie Els will compete in Macau for a third straight year. Photo: Venetian Macao Open.

Ernie Els will compete in Macau for a third straight year. Photo: Venetian Macao Open.

August 19, 2015: Ernie Els will make a third straight bid to win the Venetian Macao Open when the South African competes in the tournament’s 17th edition, which will be held from October 15-18. Els finished joint third in his tournament debut in 2013 and tied for 26th last year.

 

The South African, a four-time Major champion, and six-time Asian Tour winner Scott Hend both confirmed their return to the Macau Golf and Country Club, where The Venetian Macao will be the title sponsor for a fourth successive year.

 

“I am looking forward to playing at the Venetian Macao Open for the third time, which is now a regular stop on my fall schedule,” said the 45-year-old Johannesburg native, who is an Honorary Member and International Ambassador of the Asian Tour.

 

“The course is in great condition and the weather is always pleasant during that time of year so it tends to bring out the best in a lot of golfers, myself included. I have been practising well and I stand a great chance to bring the trophy back to South Africa for the first time.”

 

Hend won the title in 2013 and came agonisingly close to retaining his title last year. Two years ago, the 42-year-old Australian won by three shots over Anirban Lahiri, who pipped him last year after a nail-biting final-day shootout. Lahiri has already confirmed to defend his title.

 

“I was close to defending my title last year, but I couldn’t close it out. All credit to Anirban though, as he held his nerve and completed the job in hand,” Hend said.

 

“I am glad to have the opportunity again this year to have another crack at the title. It won’t be easy with Anirban playing so well lately, and of course, Ernie, who is a four-time Major champion, with all that experience, you can never count him out.”

 

José Tavares, President of Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government (MSDB), was delighted with the return of the three fan favourites.

 

“Ernie, Anirban and Scott have provided us with so much excitement over the last few years, and helped put the Venetian Macao Open on the world stage in terms of sporting events. The buzz they create as a result of their battles on the course here in Macao is something we can’t wait for and we look forward to hosting them once again this year.”

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia  

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