Major winner Faldo to grace Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic

Siem Reap: The HANDA FALDO CAMBODIAN CLASSIC will make its debut on the Asian Tour from March 14 to 17, 2012 with six-time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo set to grace the inaugural tournament and initiate a charity drive in the country.

The US$300,000 tournament will be played at the Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in the historical city of Siem Reap while the tournament’s Pro-Am will be staged in Phnom Penh on March 18. Faldo will attend the tournament and play in the Pro-Am.

The tournament, which was conceived by Japanese philanthropist and businessman Dr Haruhisa Handa, will also be held in conjunction with the 8th Asian Economic Forum and will attract the Asian Tour’s top stars who hail from over 30 different nationalities.

“Dr Handa has been incredibly generous around the world and to development through this sport.  I am happy to team up with him in Cambodia and build opportunity and awareness through golf," said Faldo.  "With his commitment we have built participation in the Faldo Series to 7,000 plus golfers in 27 countries annually.  Many of our young champions, including the great Yani Tseng, are from Asia.  It is an opportunity and an inspiration.
“This tournament in Cambodia will inspire more young Asian golfers,” added the former world number one.   “And in the true spirit of Dr. Handa it will also support the Cambodian Red Cross and people of Cambodia who have made quite an impact on me in my visits to the region.  For those reasons, I am honoured to lend my name and my voice to Dr. Handa in all his efforts."

Dr Handa is the Chairman of the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) and has supported golf at varied levels for more than 25 years, currently sponsoring a number of professional tournaments around the world, using them as a platform to promote opportunities for blind and disabled golfers. Dr Handa’s continued commitment to blind and disabled golf is the foundation of his wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport.

Dr Handa was also instrumental in the launch of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic, which will return for its third edition on the Asian Tour in April.  In 2012, ISPS is also sponsoring golf events on the European Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, European Senior Tour, Golf Australia and Japan PGA, plus the Faldo Series, Faldo’s global golfdevelopment programme.

The HANDA FALDO CAMBODIAN CLASSIC will support the Cambodian Red Cross via the Handa Foundation where various activities are being planned to raise funds for deserved organisations around the country.

“While it is a privilege and honour for us to launch a brand new professional golf tournament on the Asian Tour in Cambodia, we will be using the HANDA FALDO CAMBODIAN CLASSIC as a means to support the local communities through various charity initiatives” said Dr Handa.

“Through the Handa Foundation, we will be working very closely with the Cambodian Red Cross to raise funds for various causes. It is tremendous that Sir Nick has agreed to lend his name to our tournament and continue a partnership that began through the Faldo Series, of which ISPS is a proud supporter.”

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “We are delighted to play a key role towards the development of professional golf in Cambodia through the staging of the HANDA FALDO CAMBODIAN CLASSIC.

“By bringing world-class golf to Cambodia, we believe that it will spur the growth of the golf industry and ultimately create new opportunities for its people. I would like to thank Dr Handa for his continued commitment to the game, including his work together on the Faldo Series, and for taking the lead in helping the Cambodian community.

“We are also delighted to be visiting Angkor Golf Resort for the first time. The course is magnificent and with an emphasis on strategy it will pose an exciting challenge for our players at the tournament,” said Han.