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UBS returns to boost Hong Kong Open

Swiss financial services company UBS has agreed a multi-year deal to return as title sponsor of the Hong Kong Open golf tournament.

Although the length of the agreement was not disclosed, it has been confirmed that UBS will serve as title sponsor from this year’s event, which takes place from October 22-25 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Under the agreement, the event will once again be known as the UBS Hong Kong Open, the name it was previously referred to for an eight-year spell between 2005 and 2012.

Since the withdrawal of UBS as a sponsor, the tournament has suffered financially and organisers have had to rely on government funding in order to secure the event's future. A decline in prize money to $1.3m (€1.2m) last year also led to many leading players not taking part.

However, the return of UBS as title sponsor will lead to an increased prize purse of $2m for this year’s event. Hong Kong’s government has also promised to ensure that at least two of the world’s top-10 players will take part this year.

Kathy Shih, head of UBS wealth management for the Asia-Pacific region, said: “Increasing the prize purse is very important. We want to make an impact and make the tournament better. We have proven that in the past and we will do so again.”

The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association. Australian Scott Hend (pictured) is the reigning champion.