Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 29: History-maker Branden Grace aims to be third time lucky when he tees up at the USD7 million CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur from October 12 to 15.
The 29-year-old South African star, who is amongst 10 President Cup team members headlining the only official PGA TOUR FedExCup tournament in Southeast Asia, finished tied 17th and tied 33rd in his first two appearances in Malaysia.
And he is determined to make it all the way to the top this time, even if it means dethroning world No. 4 and two-time defending champion Justin Thomas, who was crowned the new FedExCup No. 1 on Sunday.
“I have enjoyed competing in the CIMB Classic previously and I look forward to returning to TPC Kuala Lumpur which is a wonderful golf course. As professional golfers, we have the opportunity to play in many great places and with the CIMB Classic celebrating its eighth edition, its longevity shows the game is flourishing in Malaysia and Asia which is terrific news for the players. I’ll be going over with the intention to try and win the golf tournament,” said Grace.
He has a knack of playing his way into golf’s history books. In July, Grace, ranked 42nd in the world, became the first man to shoot a magical 62 during the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale which helped him to a T6 finish. It underlined his major pedigree as it was his fifth top-10 at the majors over the past three seasons.
A graduate of the Ernie Els Foundation, which recognizes and helps nurture young golfers, Grace grew up idolizing Tiger Woods and early into his professional career, he burst onto the scene in Tiger-esque style by becoming the first player in European Tour history to win his first four titles in the same season. Then two years ago, Grace became only the fifth player to achieve a perfect 5-0-0 record at the Presidents Cup where he represented the International Team.
The other President Cup members who will feature in the CIMB Classic include American stars Thomas and Patrick Reed, India’s Anirban Lahiri, Argentinean Emiliano Grillo, Adam Hadwin of Canada, Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuala, Korea’s Si Woo Kim, and Grace’s countrymen Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.
With the Internationals fired up to beat Team USA at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey this week, Grace is planning to reprise his best form and be amongst the victorious International members to head to the CIMB Classic, which forms part of the PGA TOUR’s 2017-18 season.
“Obviously to follow a 5-0 is really tough,” said Grace. “But you know, it just kind of shows you that you’ve done it and you can do it again. You still have to go out there and play. Sometimes you play well and you lose and sometimes you struggle and you win. I just have to go out there and really play. I know what I can do.”
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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