Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 3: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung is feeling all excited ahead of next week’s US$7 million CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Fung, who secured his Asian Tour breakthrough at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand in June, will join countrymen Gavin Green and Danny Chia at the showpiece event from October 12-15.
Ranked 302nd on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as of Monday, Fung earned his place at the CIMB Classic as the highest ranked non-exempt Malaysian. Green is ranked 157th in the world but is assured of his place in the elite field through the Asian Tour Order of Merit where he is the current number one.
The 27-year-old Fung said being away from the limelight at a tournament which will feature two-time defending champion Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama, both top-five players in the world, will be an advantage.
“It feels good to play in the CIMB Classic again as it was one of my dreams to do so at the start of the year. However, I’m a nobody among the stars so I want to go out there and do my best. There’s no pressure on me,” said Fung.
Next week’s CIMB Classic will include nine Major champions, 10 Presidents Cup team members, 15 players from the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking and 18 winners from the recent PGA TOUR’s 2016-17 season The top-10 players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, as at October 9, will also qualify for the CIMB Classic.
In preparation for the CIMB Classic, which is the only PGA TOUR tournament staged in Southeast Asia, Fung has put in extra hours at the practice range to perfect his tee shots.
“One of the things I learnt from playing in the event is that I need to work a lot on my distances from off the tees. I’ve been training hard to gain more distance. I’ve gained about 10 to 13 yards but I’m not hitting it straight enough,” said Fung, who finished tied-65th at the CIMB Classic in 2014. He also played in 2013.
Green will be riding on a rich vein of form when he spearheads the local charge. He finished tied-69th last year but the Malaysian is now hopeful of a better showing in front of the home crowd after claiming his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour last week.
“It is a huge deal to me. I’m a little bit more prepared this time. Mentally I’m better. I’m also playing better and it shows in the results,” said Green, who also has three runner-up finishes this year on the Asian Tour.
All eyes will also be on Chia, who will be making his sixth appearance at the CIMB Classic. Chia qualified for the event by winning the CIMB National Championship in July which allocated one of the two sponsor’s exemptions for Malaysian golfers.
He is looking forward to providing fans with a strong performance. “I’m very happy to play in the CIMB Classic again. My best memory was when I played at the Mines with Vijay Singh. I’m glad I put on a good show that year. It was a great experience,” said Chia of his 2011 outing where he posted his best finish of tied-13th place at the CIMB Classic.
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 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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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.