After the disappointment of seeing the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open dropped from the Asian Tour 2011 schedule, golf fans in the Kingdom have received the welcome news of a new event to be held next year.
According to a press release yesterday from the Asian Tour, the region’s top professional golf tournament sanctioning body, the Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic will make its debut from March 14-17 at a venue yet to be announced.
The competition reportedly has a US$300,000 prize fund, an identical amount to the Cambodian Open which was staged for the fourth time at the Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap last year.
Traditionally one of the last events of the Asian Tour calendar, the Open was apparently shelved this year to make way for the inaugural US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok, which will conclude the 2011 season on December 15-18.
Reigning Cambodian Open champion Thongchai Jaidee would also have been unavailable to defend his title as he is representing his homeland of Thailand at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup tournament in Hainan, China.
Golfing circles in Cambodia have indicated that the Classic is likely to be played at one of the new golf courses on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
British golfing legend Nick Faldo, who has been named as patron of the event, was contracted last year to design two 18-hole courses in Kien Svay district as part of the Vattanac Golf Resort.