Johnnie Walker Classic History

16 - 19 Nov 2000: The Johnnie Walker logo is lit up by the sun during the Johnnie Walker Classic played at the Alpine Golf and Sports Club in Bangkok, Thailand. (Harry How /Allsport)In 1989, Johnnie Walker sponsored the Hong Kong Open. Following the success of this venture and its previous success in sponsoring the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland, the company chose to establish the Johnnie Walker Asian Classic.The first Johnnie Walker Asian Classic was played in 1990 in Hong Kong, at the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling. It was won by Nick Faldo, then ranked number two in the Official World Golf Rankings.

1992: Johnnie Walker Classic added to the European Tour

No tournament was held in 1991. In 1992, however, the Johnnie Walker Asian Classic became the first East Asian golf tournament to be sanctioned by the European Tour. It was only the second golf tournament in Asia – following the Dubai Desert Classic – to be included in the European Tour.

In 1993, the name of the tournament changed to Johnnie Walker Classic – a move away from the focus on Asia to one on world players. In Johnnie Walker Classic history between 1990 and 2005, a total of nine tournaments were won by golfers who have at some point occupied number 1 position in the Official World Golf Rankings. Included in these winners are Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Ian Woosnam, Greg Norman and Fred Couples. Faldo, Woods, and Els have each won the Johnnie Walker Classic twice.

2005: Landmark Year in Johnnie Walker Classic History

In Johnnie Walker Classic history, 2005 is a landmark year. In this year, the tournament was sanctioned by three PGA Tours – the Asian, European and Australasian Tours. It was played in Beijing, China, which that year saw a total of four European Tour events (with an additional event played in Hong Kong).

In the 2005 tournament, a total of 60 European Tour, 60 Asian Tour, and 28 Australasian PGA Tour players – as well as 8 sponsored players – participated in the tournament. Australian golfer Adam Scott took the title, for his share of a total prize fund of £1,250,000.

Since 2005

Since 2005, the Johnnie Walker Classic has continued to attract some of the biggest names in world golf. The 2006 tournament, won by US Kevin Stadler, was played in Australia. The 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic was won by Anton Haig in Phuket, Thailand. Mark Brown, from New Zealand, claimed the title for the first time in 2008.