HONG KONG (Reuters) - Dustin Johnson will make his Hong Kong Open debut in October, joining a field that will also include former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, the organizers said on Thursday.
American Johnson, whose three-putt on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open last month handed victory to Jordan Spieth, said he was drawn by the history of a tournament won in the past by Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie and Rory McIlroy.
“You look at some of the names who have won the tournament... you realize there’s a great history there,” the 31-year-old said in a statement issued by Asian Tour, who will co-sanction the Oct. 22-26 event with the European Tour.
“Those are the kind of trophies you want to get your name on,” the world number five added.
“As golfers, we are very lucky to have the chance to travel the world playing the game we love and when you get the chance to visit cities as exciting as Hong Kong, then it’s difficult to say no.”
Rose, who finished tied for second at the U.S. Masters and joint-sixth at the British Open earlier this month, said he was looking forward to returning to Fanling’s tight, tree-lined course that fits well into his calendar this year.
“I liked the idea of putting another tournament on the schedule near the end of the year to give myself as good a chance as possible of winning the Race to Dubai...” Rose said of the European Tour money list.
”I missed the cut by a shot in 2011 but I loved the course.
“I made a late run of birdies to almost make the cut, but then missing that cut actually enabled me to spend a weekend in the city and really get to know and love the place,” added the Englishman, who sits sixth in the Race to Dubai standings.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien