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Published: Wednesday October 10, 2012 MYT 11:47:00 AM

McIlroy to play Hong Kong Open

BELEK, Turkey: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will be returning to Hong Kong next month to defend his Hong Kong Open title.

Swiss banking giant UBS came to an agreement some weeks ago to continue their role as main sponsor and McIlroy has now responded by finally agreeing to return to the Special China Administrative Region and tee up in the event being staged from November 15-18.

McIlroy won the event by two strokes last year from Frenchman Gregory Havret to secure his then fifth Tour success around the globe. Since then the 23-year old has added a second Major Championship, the PGA Championship and three PGA Tour titles.

McIlroy revealed his intention to return to Hong Kong straight after losing to American Matt Kuchar on the first day of the World Golf Final in the Turkish resort of Belek.

"There had been a little doubt over Hong Kong but now that it's all sorted out with the sponsor and so on, I am going to defend my title," he said.

"I haven't made up my mind yet about the HSBC Champions."

It now means that McIlroy will return to the European Tour in a fortnight confirmed to play in three of Asia's biggest tournaments: the $US 7million BMW Masters in Shanghai (October 25-28), the $US 6m Barclays Singapore Open (November 8-11), $US 2m UBS Hong Kong Open and the following week's season-ending $US 8m Dubai World Championship.

If McIlroy does tee-up in the $US 7m WGC - HSBC Champions at Mission Hills it will mean five Race to Dubai events in succession and in four different countries.

And on Monday October 29, and the day after the Tour stops in Shanghai, McIlroy will go head-to-head with Tiger Woods in 'The Duel at Lake Jinsha' in Beijing. - AFP

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