Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els are skipping the Volvo World Matchplay Championship to play in this year’s Barclays Singapore Open, where they both finished runner-up last season. 

Padraig Harrington will be bidding to go one better in the 2009 Barclays Singapore OpenThe Barclays Singapore Open will be played on The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club from October 29 to November 1 and will boast prize money of US$5million - once again making it the richest national Open in Asia.

Korea’s K.J Choi and Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland will add further star appeal to the tournament, which for the first time is being joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Harrington and Els are ranked ninth and 20th in the world, respectively, and finished tied for second place last weekend at The Barclays tournament in New York.  They both missed makeable birdie putts on the final hole of the 2008 Barclays Singapore Open that would have forced a play-off with champion Jeev Milkha Singh from India. 

The duo, who have both claimed three Majors Championships during their illustrious careers, will be looking to finish one place better this year.

Els also finished second in the 2006 Barclays Singapore Open when Australian Adam Scott beat him in a gripping three-hole play-off.

More marquee names will be announced in the coming weeks with players from all over the world eager to tee it up in the 46th edition of the event.

"The co-sanctioning of the Barclays Singapore Open will further enhance what has already become the flagship tournament in Asia.   We look forward to an even more successful championship, both for the players and the spectators," said Robert Morrice, Chairman and Chief Executive of Barclays Asia.

As a full field event of 156 players, the  Barclays Singapore Open will comprise 65 players from each Tour with a further 10 places available through a local qualifying event on the Sunday and Monday before the tournament starts. There will be nine invitations, four amateurs and three Singaporean professionals.

“The Barclays Singapore Open has not only put Singapore on the golfing map, it has announced Sentosa’s arrival on the world stage as a premier lifestyle destination and a playground for all leisure activities and sporting events.” said Low Teo Ping, Board Member, Sentosa Development Corporation and Vice Captain, Sentosa Golf Club.

Singapore’s national Open was not played between 2002 and 2004, but returned to the Asian Tour schedule in 2005 thanks to the support of Sentosa and efforts of the event promoter World Sport Group. Scott triumphed in 2005 and 2006 before Angel Cabrera of Argentina claimed the spoils in 2007.

This year’s Barclays Singapore Open will once again be broadcast live for all four days on the ESPN Star Sports network.

“The Barclays Singapore Open is the highlight of the year on the Asian golf calendar and World Sport Group are proud to promote the tournament for the fifth year in a row. We have over 10 years of experience in running golf tournaments in Asia and we have been able to use successfully use this knowledge to make the Barclays Singapore Open an event that is second to none in the region,” said Chris Jordan, Senior Vice President – Golf, World Sport Group.