HTO Daily: Sergio-Led Cast of Golf Stars Set for Ho Tram Open
The wait is finally over — it’s party time along the Ho Tram Strip. Last night, a glamorous, black-tie affair capped a memorable day, when Spain’s leading man, Sergio Garcia, made a James Bond-like entrance for the inaugural Ho Tram Open by touching down in a helicopter wearing a tuxedo.
“When I heard about Vietnam, and what was happening here in Ho Tram especially, I was excited because I’ve also never been to this part of Asia,” said the well-traveled 35-year-old. “So there was never any, ‘Should I go or should I not?’ It was a very easy decision.”
Now it’s on to the main event, which tees off at 6:20 a.m. tomorrow with a field of 132 ready to take on The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, a spectacular, links-style Greg Norman design honored as the ‘World’s Best New Course’ last month at the World Golf Awards.
Garcia got his first real look at the layout earlier today when he and many of his competitors participated in a fun-filled pro-am, which proved to be an unforgettable experience for the amateurs lucky enough to be part of it and an invaluable opportunity for the pros to take a few more notes ahead of the opening round.
The world No. 12 will of course be one to watch tomorrow when he goes out in the morning wave alongside Bluffs ambassador and two-time European Tour winner Robert Rock. Vietnam’s own Truong Chi Quan will join them.
In the afternoon session, major champions Darren Clarke and Geoff Ogilvy play back to back, with local talent Michael Tran providing additional allure to Clarke’s group.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Clarke, widely considered one of the finest links players in the world thanks in large part to his 2011 Open Championship victory at Royal St. George’s. “I played the back nine here yesterday and loved it — it’s very similar to Royal Portrush back home in Ireland … only 70 degrees warmer. If the wind gets up, it’s going to be very challenging.”