Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 25: Justin Thomas will arrive for his title defence at next month’s CIMB Classic with another grand accolade, the 2017 FedExCup Champion, next to his name.
The 24-year-old American golf star put the icing on the cake to his 2016-17 PGA TOUR campaign by winning the season-long FedExCup race after finishing second at the TOUR Championship on Sunday. Thomas bagged a cool US$10 million bonus following a spectacular season which included five victories plus a maiden major title.
Thomas finished one stroke behind winner Xander Schauffele, who became the first TOUR rookie to triumph at the final FedExCup Playoffs event. The 23-year-old has also committed to the US$7 million CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur from October 12-15 and will undoubtedly arrive as one of the top contenders.
Reflecting on his successful season which started with his CIMB Classic defence nearly 12 months ago, Thomas was delighted to join an esteemed group of FedExCup champions who include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and close friend Jordan Spieth.
“It was an unbelievable season,” said Thomas. “It’s awesome just because I feel like I played so well this year, I was consistent. I mean, a lot of great weeks and great memories even. Life-changing events that just kind of ended with another kind of life-changing thing for me. To just have my name on the trophy with the rest of those guys is pretty awesome.”
Thomas recalled how he started the 2016-17 season on a strong note with his second win at the CIMB Classic, which is the only PGA TOUR event staged in Southeast Asia. “I mean Malaysia was great and to win, that was a new and a different win for me coming from four back like that. It was an awesome, it was a great week … huge achievement,” said Thomas.
World No. 4 Thomas will represent Team USA in the Presidents Cup against the International team this week before recharging his batteries. He will then take the trip to Kuala Lumpur. “After the Presidents Cup I get a couple days off and reset the goals and then my dad, Jimmy (his caddie) and myself will go off to Malaysia again.”
Schauffele, whose mother is Taiwanese, will make his debut at the CIMB Classic, which forms part of the early 2017-18 PGA TOUR season, following a year which saw him win twice. His success at the TOUR Championship, which was exclusive to the top-30 players, will now put him in the same conversation as Thomas, Spieth and the other 20-somethings who have emerged onto the golf scene.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” he said of his second win of 2017 where he also triumphed at the Greenbrier Classic. “I think I’ve always been on the outside looking in. You’ve got Justin, you’ve got Jordan, you’ve got Daniel Berger, you’ve got Emiliano Grillo, and Hideki’s (Matsuyama) also young. It’s kind of weird being in their company. I said I got annoyed of talking about them so much before, but yeah, they push me and I can’t thank them enough.”
Advance tickets for the CIMB Classic are now on sale on www.ticketpro.com.my, Ticket Pro sales channels and selected MST Golf Stores in the Klang Valley. Fans who purchase tickets from now until October 8 will enjoy early bird pricing, with tickets costing RM62 each for the first round (Oct 12, Thursday) and second round (Oct 13, Friday). Prices for the third round (Oct 14, Saturday) and final round (Oct 15, Sunday) are RM99 per day. A season ticket for all four rounds are priced at RM199.
The CIMB Classic is also sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM). The premier Malaysian tournament is also the first of three PGA TOUR events in Asia during the month of October.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the leading global platform in professional golf, showcasing the highest
expression of excellence, both on and off the course. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, grow and protect the game of golf and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. Its members represent the world’s best players, hailing from 24 countries (89 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1.1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2016, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $166 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.46 billion. The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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