ADT: PGM UMW Sabah Classic joins Schedule

Fri 16 Aug 2013

ADT: PGM UMW Sabah Classic joins Schedule

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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, August 16: The Asian Development Tour (ADT) will further expand its reach in Malaysia with the addition of the PGM UMW Sabah Classic on its 2013 Schedule next month.
The RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) PGM UMW Sabah Classic, which will be amongst the 10ADT events to be staged in Malaysia this season, will be held at Sabah Golf and Country Club from September 4 to 7.
This will be the first time Sabah will host an ADT event since the Asian Tour’s secondary circuit was launched in 2010. The tournament will also offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, giving the Malaysian players another opportunity to try to qualify for the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in November.
The PGM UMW Sabah Classic, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM Tour), will raise this season’s ADT events to a record of 15 tournaments. The Tour staged five events in the first year and hosted eight and 13 events in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Malaysia’s Iain Steel, who recorded his first ADT victory at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship last week, and Nicholas Fung, winner of the PGM-UMW Templer Park Masters in Malaysia in June, both hail from Sabah, known as the Land below the Wind, are tipped to headline the event.
Fung and Steel will have much to play for as they aim to boost their world rankings where they are currently placed 508th and 741st respectively. A victory in Sabah could give them a shot at qualifying for the World Cup of Golf if they can break into the top-340 bracket by September 23.
Steel, the first Malaysian to win an ADT event abroad, said: “It is great to have an ADT event in Sabah. It will be an exciting time for me and Nicholas and the other local players, as we will be competing against some of the most talented golfers in the region.
“The ADT is a great platform for players to improve and we’ve seen some young talents including Nicholas and Kenneth De Silva who have benefited by playing on the ADT. I’ve also enjoyed a boost in confidence after winning on the ADT.
“I’ve been suffering from a back injury for three years and it has kind of sidelined my game. However, I’ve been telling myself that I can still compete and I guess I’ve proved myself right with the win,” said the 42-year-old.
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han lauded the strong support from Tun Ahmad Sarji, the chairman of the PGM Tour.
“The Malaysians success on the ADT can be attributed to Tun Ahmad Sarji’s vision to promote and enhance the game of golf in Malaysia. The co-sanction events between the ADT and PGM Tour have given the local players a platform to take their game to a higher level,” said Han.
“The ADT has also given the Malaysian players including Iain Steel, Nicholas Fung and Danny Chia the opportunity to earn valuable world ranking points which is the only criteria to qualify for the World Cup of Golf and the Olympics in 2016.”
Tun Sarji was delighted with the success of the co-sanctioned events between the PGM Tour and the ADT. “I’m delighted that the PGM UMW Sabah Classic will be part of the ADT Schedule in 2013. This is the 10th event to be co-sanctioned with the ADT and the achievements of our players are testament to the successful partnership between the PGM Tour and ADT,” said Tun Sarji.
“Nicholas Fung, Iain Steel and Danny Chia have been victorious on the ADT this season and I’m confident more young and talented Malaysian players will follow in their footsteps and go on to achieve greater success in golf,” he added.
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.