Laguna eyes bigger events after passing World Classic test
Laguna management bracing themselves for another such event next year
With the success of last week's US$750,000 ($1.05m) World Classic Championship, Laguna National Golf and Country Club is bracing itself for more such full-field Asian Tour events.
The club, despite undergoing renovation, put on a mammoth show; from the course layout, to the logistics and "people friendly" atmosphere.
And buoyed by the top-rate ranking for ability to stage a major event, Laguna's executive director Kevin Kwee is planning to stage a similar event next year, with more to follow in the years ahead.
Said Kwee: "We have always committed ourselves to staging top-tier professional events at Laguna, as our history indicates.
"With this event, we have a long- term plan with IMG and are working on dates and other high-level items for 2016, with announcements very soon.
"We are already in discussion with IMG and the Asian Tour on the details and date for next year, with plans to ensure the best players and the highest level of competition and create another exciting event.
"What we are most pleased is that it all came together in less than six weeks, and that the World Classic course defended itself against the big-name competitors."
In fact, the course lived up to its moniker of "Asia's Toughest Test" with the tricky greens, undulating fairways and difficult bunkers.
And the statistics proved that:
The winning total was only two under, no player could string three under-par rounds, the lowest score was four-under 67, the highest an 89, and nine golfers retired after the second round.
Furthermore, there were only 16 eagles, 377 double-bogeys and 104 triple-bogeys or worse.
Scott Barr, the Singapore-based Australian who held the three-way joint-lead after the second day, said: "The club did a wonderful job at such short notice.
"The course played as we know it does, tough, a little unfair but all in all, it was a great success.
"I'd say moving forward the club will look at doing some renovations to the course to accommodate the government's plans with the land, and to soften down a few undulations in the greens.
"The course is really a great test for every aspect of your game. I have a feeling the players will enjoy the challenge of this course in the years to come."
Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said: "The World Classic Championship at Laguna National offered plenty of excitement and drama.
"The tournament was a great platform for the local golfers to play against the Asian Tour stars and gain more experience. We hope to unearth new champions from the country in future."
The big tick for the World Classic course in its first major assault - previously events such as the Osim Masters and the Tour Championship were held at the Masters course - has encouraged the Laguna management and staff to seek full-field playing events in the future.