HONG KONG - Former US Open champion Justin Rose and the man who agonisingly lost on the final green at the event this year, big-hitting Dustin Johnson, will headline a revitalised 2015 Hong Kong Open, it was announced Thursday. American Johnson and Englishman Rose, ranked fifth and seventh in the world respectively, confirmed their entries to Asia's oldest professional tournament which is re-emerging as one of the region's premier golf events after several years in the doldrums.

Earlier this month, UBS announced its return as title sponsor -- after pulling out after the 2012 edition -- of an event which has been staged at the Fanling course every year since 1959. And the Hong Kong Government has stumped up HK$15 million (US$1.93 million) from its Mega Events Fund enabling the October 22-25 tournament -- which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours -- to almost double its prize money from US$1.3 million last year to US$2 million in 2015.

It has also been reinstated as the final event of the regular European Tour season for the first time since 2012, which makes it a pivotal date immediately preceding the highly lucrative "Final Four" playoff series of tournaments in the "Race to Dubai" for which only the top 60 on the money list will qualify.

"The tournament is close to the end of the Race to Dubai so I liked the idea of putting another tournament on the schedule near the end of the year," said Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, in a statement released by organisers.

Johnson, 31, is one of the longest hitters in world golf but is looking forward to the challenge of Fanling's tight and tree-lined course which places a premium on accuracy over booming length off the tee.

"I've heard some great things about the tournament, and that the Hong Kong Golf Club is a real classic golf course with a rich history and tradition," said Johnson.

"You look at some of the names who have won the tournament -- guys like Norman, Watson, Woosnam, Langer, Olazabal, Montgomerie and McIlroy -- and you realise there's a great history there. Those are the kind of trophies you want to get your name on."

Johnson already has fine memories of China, having won the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai two years ago and sees Hong Kong as ideal preparation as he attempts to regain that crown just a fortnight later at Sheshan Golf Club.