Major champions Clarke, Yang; World no. 1 Jordan Smith confirm to play at SMBC Singapore Open

Singapore: Major champions Darren Clarke and Y.E. Yang have confirmed their participation in next month’s SMBC Singapore Open, which will be headlined by world number one Jordan Spieth.

Northern Ireland’s Clarke won The Open in 2011, the highlight of a sterling career that has seen him triumph 22 times worldwide, and Korea’s Yang became the first Asian to win a Major with his success at the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship.

With Jordan having won this year’s U.S. Masters and U.S. Open, it means all the Majors will be represented at the SMBC Singapore Open.

After an absence of three years, the iconic SMBC Singapore Open will be played on The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club from January 28 to 31, 2016.

The SMBC Singapore Open will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) with a minimum prize purse of US$1 million.

“I am excited about returning to the Singapore Open which has a wonderful history with great champions,” said Clarke.

“I have played the Singapore Open a number of times and The Serapong Course is a great test of golf, you really need to be on your game around there.

“Jordan Spieth set the bar with his performances this year and it will be good to take him on at the SMBC Singapore Open.”

Yang, who is an Asian Tour Honorary Member, finished 10th in the Singapore Open when it was last played in 2012 and the 43-year-old is eager for another crack at the title.

“The Singapore Open is a great tournament and it is good to see it back on the schedule,” he said. “I finished joint 10th in 2012 with three rounds in the 60s and I hope to improve on that in January.

“Sentosa Golf Club is a fantastic venue and I am expecting big crowds for the tournament.”

Next year will be an extra special one for Clarke as he will captain Team Europe against the United States at Hazeltine National Golf Club for the Ryder Cup and also in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM to face Team Asia in January.

He has a wonderful Ryder Cup record, playing on the winning side four times in his five consecutive appearances between 1997 and 2006.

A true global player, the 47-year-old has triumphed on the PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation and the Sunshine Tour.

His most important victory to date came at the 2011 Open at Royal St George’s in England which he won by three strokes from Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

He has also won two World Golf Championship events, the 2000 WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship, when he defeated Tiger Woods in the final, and the NEC Invitational in 2003.

Yang made history at the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship when he became the first Asian to win a Major title.

The victory was made even more remarkable as he held off Tiger Woods down the stretch, the only player to prevent the then world number one from winning a Major that he had led going into the final round.

Earlier that year, Yang won the Honda Classic to serve notice of the heroics to come. His biggest win before the US PGA Championship came at the HSBC Champions in 2006 when he triumphed over an elite field that included Woods.

The self-taught Korean’s other triumphs include the Honda Classic, Volvo China Open and Korea Open.

The SMBC Singapore Open will feature the top 60 from the Asian Tour, top 60 from the JGTO, leading Singapore professionals and amateurs and invites including players from the top 50 in the world.