Mickelson ready to break the bank

Wed 23 Oct 2013

Mickelson ready to break the bank

  • SHARE
Kuala Lumpur, October 23: American superstar Phil Mickelson is planning on a winning week when he makes his debut at the US$7 million CIMB Classic which starts on Thursday.
The 43-year-old will be chasing his fourth title of the year at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in the prestigious event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR. It will be Asia’s first FedEx Cup tournament.
World number three Mickelson, the highest ranked played in the field this week, will be up against a stellar line-up which includes fellow Major champions Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Stewart Cink and Retief Goosen.
“I'm optimistic that I'll play well,” said Mickelson today. “The golf course is difficult though. The greens are not holding very well, and that's making it difficult for guys to get the ball close to the hole. I don't think the scores will be that low. I think this is a very difficult test. The rough is extremely thick and difficult around the greens, and I think it's a hard test,” added the man nicknamed “Lefty”.
Having competed in the region previously, Mickelson, who won the British Open in July for his fifth career Major, said the Malaysian heat and humidity would not pose a problem for him.
“I don't mind the heat at all. I actually enjoy it. I feel that it's much easier on your body when it's warm like this. The muscles become looser and perform better, and I think that the golf ball performs better in warm conditions, and I think that the heat is helpful to the golfers to play well,” said Mickelson.
Nick Watney of the United States Nick Watney of the United States
He added that giving the CIMB Classic official status on the PGA TOUR was a boost for the event, which will showcase a stellar 78-man field including the leading 10 players from the Asian Tour. While he plans to scale down on his schedule in the foreseeable future, the popular American said the opportunity to add to his 46 career victories drives him to compete.
“I think having this tournament be part of the FedExCup gives it a lot of credibility and world class golf here in Malaysia. I think it is a great statement, and we're all appreciative of CIMB bringing world class golf here to Malaysia,” he said.
“I love what I do. I love competing. I've always been a competitive person by nature, and I love the opportunity to compete in golf at the highest level. I have over the last 20 years of playing the TOUR, I have learned more and more each year, and this past year I've had some wonderful things happen to me that have helped me play some of my best golf.  And whether it's driving the ball off the tee, getting the ball in play so I can compete well in the U.S. and British Opens, whether it's putting and certain keys on putting, I've had a phenomenal putting year. I'm starting to drive the ball better than I ever have, and I'm excited about upcoming years because I'm starting to play some really good golf again. I love to compete.  It's just that I love what I do.”
Title holder Nick Watney, who defeated a top field which included Tiger Woods last year at the Mines Resort and Golf Club, is looking forward to a successful defence on a different venue.
“I'm definitely very excited to be back.  I have a lot of good memories from last time I was here.  The golf course is in great shape out there. It's very challenging. I'm looking forward to getting the week started,” said the 32-year-old.
“It's very hilly out there but I think the main difference would be how narrow the fairways are.  The Mines are pretty generous driving the ball, but here we hit into a lot of 15 yard gaps or maybe even less than that.”
The 24-year-old Rickie Fowler, rated as one of the rising stars in world golf, finished tied fifth in the inaugural CIMB Classic in 2010 and is aiming to land his second PGA TOUR title. “I would like to get my second win out of the way,” said the colourful Fowler.
“I really like the city and the surrounding area. It's a fun place to come hang out, and it's a little warm and a long flight, but happy to be here.  It's a little different starting the year now in October for 2014.  But I guess the way to look at it is just we're all out here trying to play well whenever we tee it up.”
For more information on the CIMB Classic, log on to our website at www.cimbclassic.com, or join us on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/CIMBClassic.
Ends.
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 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately US$18.4 billion as at 31 Jul 2013 and over 42,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
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 communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 945 million households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2012, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $130 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.86 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, FL.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.