Ambitious Ben An trains sights on SMBC Singapore Open

Singapore: Korea’s Byeonghun An, one of the most exciting prospects in world golf, will compete in the SMBC Singapore Open early next year as he looks to build on a tremendous rookie season.

Popularly known as Ben An, the world number 28 was named the Rookie of the Year on the European Tour in 2015 after a fantastic maiden campaign that included victory in the prestigious BMW PGA Championship.

The talented 24-year-old will take on world number one Jordan Spieth, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, Y.E Yang from Korea and an all-star cast from the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) in the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club from January 28 to 31, 2016.

“I have heard a lot about the Singapore Open from fellow players and cannot wait to play the tournament,” said An.

“It was a memorable year for me in 2015 - I was fortunate enough to play some good golf and achieve some great results and I hope to start the new season in a similar vein.

“The competition for the SMBC Singapore Open title will be fierce with a lot of great players in the field. Any time Jordan Spieth is in the lineup, there is a special buzz about the tournament.”

An made an instant impact in his debut season on the European Tour by lifting the prestigious BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth in May with a record winning score of 21 under par.

Top-four finishes in three of the four Final Series events saw An finish in seventh place in The 2015 Race to Dubai earning himself the coveted Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award. He was also named the Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year.

On a foray into Asia earlier this month, An was tied fourth with Sergio Garcia in the Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring Country Club.

An will also feature in next month’s EurAsia Cup in Malaysia as one of the 12 members for Team Asia.

The US-based Korean first rose to prominence in 2009 when he became the youngest winner of the US Amateur Championship at the age of 17.

The SMBC Singapore Open, which is returning to the schedule after a three-year absence, 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.