Japanese firm backs return of Myanmar Open

Japanese real estate company Leopalace21 has been named title sponsor of the Myanmar Open golf tournament, which returns to the Asian Tour calendar next year.

Leopalace21 has agreed a three-year partnership with the event, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour. The deal will cover the 2016 to 2018 editions of the tournament. The event will take on the official title of Leopalace21 Myanmar Open during this period.

Eisei Miyama, Leopalace21 president and chief executive, said: “While we are confident our title sponsorship of the Myanmar Open will allow us to fulfil our commercial objectives in the region, we are also excited to be involved in growing and developing the game in Myanmar. Our initial three-year partnership with the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour through this event will certainly allow us to achieve these targets.”

JGTO chairman Katuji Ebisawa added: “Recently, Myanmar has received great momentum in their economic liberalisation and increased investment from foreign capitals. Myanmar is also enjoying a high growth rate which is among the highest among countries in Asia. Many Japanese companies are launching into the country and much attention is given from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries with regards to its stunning economic growth.”

The Myanmar Open was first introduced in 1996 and has been staged 13 times. Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol (pictured) is the current champion, lifting the trophy in 2013.

Next year’s tournament will take place at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club from February 4-7.