The Singapore International is new on the schedule but will generate plenty of interest as it’s being hosted at a course considered among Singapore’s finest.

For the players, the opportunity simply to tee up is a welcome one and for local and international fans alike the chance to see Tanah Merah Country Club’s reworked Tampines course is a source of interest.

This tournament is the first of a two week Singapore swing with the season ending Singapore Open to be staged next week at Sentosa Golf Club.

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.

COURSE: The Tanah Merah Country Club is a 36-hole complex located close to the Changi Airport and considered one of the finest facilities in the region.

RIGHT: With a good week, Travis Smyth could secure a start at the lucrative Saudi International. PHOTO: Jack Thomas/Getty Images.

While the club is no stranger to hosting professional events, this week marks a first for the recently revamped Tampines layout with the majority of top tier events previously played on the facility’s Garden Course.

Both courses have undergone significant work in recent years thanks to issues caused by the expansion of the airport and the Tampines course is now preferred for championship events.

Given that, some of the local players may have a slight advantage this week though in truth, at this level of the game, there is rarely any legitimacy to that line of thinking.

Opened in 1988 but completely rebuilt in 2018 there is much excitement ahead of this week’s event as some of the region’s best prepare to test the new look layout.

Given travel restrictions over the pandemic period there is little in the way of course reviews regarding the work.

However, what we do know is the course has the capability to stretch to 6,887 metres (7,500 yards in the old money) meaning no shortage of length to challenge a field of this calibre.

Images on the club website suggest water in play on half the holes and lots of ground contours on fairways and around the greens.

Short grass around the putting surfaces leaves room for a variety of shot options though generally large greens offer generous targets.

Having said that, there appears enough internal movement on most of the greens to put a premium on accuracy with approach shots.

PRIZEMONEY: US$1,000,000

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The field features some of the Asian Tour’s biggest names alongside some up-and-coming local players who have established themselves on the area’s smaller development tours during the pandemic.

At the top end, Order of Merit leader Wade Ormsby and fellow DP World Tour members Jazz Janewattananond and Shubankar Sharma will rightly attract plenty of attention but they won’t have things all their own way.

A winner already this season, Khongwatmai is among the players to watch this week in Singapore. PHOTO: Sadiq Asyraf/Getty Images.

There is particular interest in Thai players Sadom Kaewkanjana and Phachara Khongwatmai, the top two on the All Thailand Pro Tour Order of Merit last year.

Khongwatmai won the second event back at Laguna Phuket in November and there will be much interest in his form outside his home country this week.

As Order of Merit leader, Ormsby would seem Australia’s best chance though Travis Smyth showed signs of good form at the back end of 2021.

Like all who rely on the Asian Tour for competitive play it was a difficult two years for the Wollongong local but with things on a more even keel for 2022 schedule wise he will be highly motivated to get back on track and fast.

Smyth currently sits 20th on the Order of Merit with the top 30 to qualify for the lucrative 2023 season opener in Saudi Arabia in two weeks so look for a good performance this week.

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Wade Ormsby, Travis Smyth, Daniel Fox, Ben Eccles.

Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 506 4pm –8pm)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 506 4pm – 8pm)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 506 4pm – 8pm)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 506 3.10pm – 5.10pm)
*AEDT, check local guides