SJM MACAO OPEN ENHANCES MACAO’S STATURE AS AN INTERNATIONAL SPORTING DESTINATION

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The SJM Macao Open 2023 returned last week (12 to 15 October 2023), presenting world-class golf from present and future stars of the sport at the Macau Golf and Country Club. The SJM Macao Open also went a long way towards enhancing Macao’s stature as an international sporting destination, while highlighting its numerous tourist attractions and rich culture.

Making a welcome return to Macao after six years, the USD1 million Asian Tour tournament treated spectators to four days of exciting on-course action along with engaging off-course activities. The action came thick and fast as the field of 144 players battled over four days at the picturesque and challenging Macau Golf and Country Club layout. When the dust finally settled, Australia’s Minwoo Lee was deservedly crowned as the champion of the tournament’s landmark 20th edition.

MACAU, CHINA: Minwoo Lee of Australia pictured with the winner’s trophy on Sunday October 15, 2023 at the Macau Golf and Country Club following the SJM Macao Open. The US$1 million Asian Tour event is staged from October 12-15, 2023. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

World-ranked 46th Lee making his debut in Macao, led the field from day one, opening with a 62 followed by rounds of 64, 65 and a final round 63 to seal victory.

If not for the preferred lies, Lee’s opening round of nine-under-par 62 at the par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club would have tied the course record set by India’s Amandeep Johl in 2004 and matched by compatriot Anirban Lahiri in 2014.

Large crowds gathered over the weekend to enjoy the stunning golf on display, not just by Lee but also from his playing partner, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin who finished second after a fascinating final day duel. The tenacious Thai golfer matched the Australian blow for blow but came up two shots shy despite matching Lee’s closing 63.

“This win means a lot to me and I’m going to cherish it. I’m really proud of the way I handled myself,” said Lee, who earned a cheque for USD180,000.

“I really like this golf course. I feel like it really suited my game, my chipping and putting has been on point, the driving has been really good, and the approach play was pretty solid too,” he added.

Lee noted that he had an enjoyable stay in Macao and at the iconic Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel. “This whole week has been amazing! I really enjoyed my time here. The hotel is unbelievable, probably one of the best hotels I’ve been in, and I really loved the Asian food. It was a spectacular week. And yeah, I hope to come back, it’s an awesome course and awesome place.”

Lee added: “Even on social media here the support has been unbelievable. I wish it was a little easier, but yeah, you know, got it done at the end. I’m really happy and a big thank you to my family and friends that came out and supporters. I haven’t played too much in front of mom and grandma, so it was really, really nice to win in front of them.”

The spectators who gathered at Macau Golf and Country Club enjoyed a great day out in fabulous weather. Entire families including toddlers congregated at the Fan Village to taste the great food on offer or just chill in the sunshine while watching the players walk by, and also meeting SJM’s Tourism Ambassador “Sam the Rooster”.  Another popular spot was the viewing deck behind the 10th teebox, which provided spectacular vistas of the golf course and the South China Sea.

After six years’ absence, the Golf Tournament also brought a Golfing Carnival to Asia’s golfing fanatics and Macao’s community. World-renowned golfers were invited from all over the world, and numerous visitors from the Greater Bay Area and neighbouring Asian Countries were attracted to tour Macao in all its glory. This all helped to raise Macao as an international sporting destination amongst its regional neighbours, featuring its rich tourist resources and cultural depth. 

Pun Weng Kun, President of the Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, lauded the success of the tournament, saying: “The SJM Macao Open was certainly a huge success and went a long way towards promoting Macao as a preferred international sports destination with the widespread exposure and coverage generated. It was great to see many young fans among the spectators, witnessing both the established Asian Tour stars and the up-and-coming players, including recent Asian Games medallists. This is in line with our initiative to promote ‘Sport for All’, and we hope that more youngsters will be inspired by these players to take up the game.”

Daisy Ho, Managing Director of SJM Resorts, S.A. (SJM), noted: “As the title sponsor, we are extremely pleased that this year’s SJM Macao Open went smoothly and was so well received by players and spectators alike. The tournament certainly cemented its place as one of the highlights of Macao’s international events calendar, showcasing our capability to stage world-class sporting events laced with warm hospitality. This is just the beginning of our three-year partnership, and we will work closely with the Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, the Asian Tour, IMG and other stakeholders to make the next edition even bigger and better.”

Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer, David Rollo, noted that the tournament was one of their favourite stops. “The SJM Macao Open is certainly one of our members’ favourite tournaments and this year’s edition truly enhanced its popularity. Everyone had an enjoyable stay in Macao, thanks to the clockwork organisation and wonderful hospitality. We also welcomed a terrific new champion in Min Woo Lee. Our heartfelt thanks are extended to SJM Resorts, Sports Bureau of Macao, Golf Association of Macau, Macau Golf and Country Club and IMG for their unwavering support and we look forward to continuing this partnership for the next tournament and beyond.”

Grant Slack, EVP & Managing Director, Golf Events of IMG, noted: “IMG is immensely proud to have been part of the Macao Open through the years and to have played a part in the successful staging of the 20th edition. We have really enjoyed working with the Sports Bureau of Macao, the title sponsor, SJM and partners, and will continue to collaborate with them to further elevate the tournament and help grow the game in Macao.”

About SJM Resorts, S.A.

SJM Resorts, S.A. (“SJM”) is a leading owner, operator and developer of premier integrated entertainment resorts in Macao, with the Lisboa brand grown to become synonymous with the city. The company’s tourism portfolio caters to a wide spectrum of customers, and is reputed for its iconic hotel architecture and facilities, award-winning gastronomy, outstanding hospitality and authentic local experiences. SJM laid the foundation for Macao’s growth over the past decades and continues to invest as Macao grows into a world centre of tourism and leisure. SJM is a principal subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings Limited (HKEx 880).


The Grand Lisboa Palace Resort is SJM’s newest flagship in Cotai and the newest integrated resort in Macau. Inspired by European monumental buildings juxtaposed with traditional Chinese motifs, the resort celebrates the confluence of East and West and brings out the rich cultural heritage of Macao. The property offers 1,890 luxurious rooms and suites in three distinctively designed hotel towers – the modern Chinoiserie-style Grand Lisboa Palace, the one and only THE KARL LAGERFELD and Asia’s first Palazzo Versace Macau. Other facilities include diverse cuisines underpinned by SJM’s industry-leading culinary expertise, a 75,000-square-metre retail mall, versatile meeting and event venues, exclusive spa and wellness facilities, as well as exciting entertainment options.


Inspired by Macao’s lotus symbol, the Grand Lisboa Hotel in the Macao Peninsula is another award-winning integrated property of SJM. Set in the heart of the city and connected to the legendary Hotel Lisboa, Grand Lisboa is the only hotel in Macao boasting 3 MICHELIN Starred restaurants.


SJM is the majority owner of Ponte 16 Resort and the 5-star Sofitel Macau in the historic Inner Harbour district close to the UNESCO sites. SJM also operates the Jai Alai Hotel, which is conveniently connected to the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.

For more information, visit www.sjmresorts.com/en

About Golf Association of Macau

Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.

With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.

About Macau Golf & Country Club

Opened in 1993, Macau Golf and Country Club is one of the oldest established golf clubs in Southern China. The Club, business unit of STDM, has been meticulously planned to combine a resort ambience with an 18-hole Championship golf course, superb amenities, first–class management, attentive service, excellent food, and an array of activities specially focused on golf tournaments and tuition.

The golf club has developed a reputation as one of the most beautiful courses to play in the region with stunning views of the South China seas and quiet, peaceful surroundings. The golf course is enjoyable with every hole presenting a fresh golfing experience.

Macau Golf and Country Club has hosted the prestigious Macau Open golf tournament since 1998 with major winners Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, John Daly, Padraig Harrington and Nick Price. The Open has also attracted famous players like Miguel-Angel Jimenez, Brendan Grace, Ian Poulter, Thongchai Jaidee, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and China’s favourites, Liang Wen Chong and Zhang Lian-Wei who has won this event twice.

About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. Through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, it is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. It is also an affiliate of The R&A.
Tour Partners include Rolex (Timekeeper), Habitat for Humanity (Sustainable Development Partner) and Titleist (Web Partner). The corporate headquarters of the Asian Tour is based in Sentosa, which is the home of Asian Golf while Sentosa Golf Club is part of an exclusive network of properties under the Asian Tour Destinations. The Tour also has an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For more information, visit 
www.asiantour.com

About IMG
IMG is a global sports and culture company. It is a leader in rights management, multi-channel content production and distribution, consultancy and fan engagement; owns, produces and commercially represents hundreds of live events and experiences; and manages licensing programs for the world’s best-known brands and trademarks. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.

Credit: img.com

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