Star-studded line-up primed for #MaybankChampionship

Sat 04 Feb 2017

Star-studded line-up primed for #MaybankChampionship

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 4: A star-laden Asian Tour cast, spearheaded by reigning number one Scott Hend, will shoot for glory at the Maybank Championship at Saujana Golf and Country Club next week.
Big-hitting Hend, who became the first Australian to win the Order of Merit crown last season, will be joined by nine other former number ones, including Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, American David Lipsky, India’s Anirban Lahiri, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, China’s Liang Wen-chong and Filipino swinger Juvic Pagunsan.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
Over 40 Asian Tour champions with over 100 tournament victories accumulated will also tee up for the US$3 million showpiece, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Such is the attraction of the Maybank Championship, which is celebrating its second edition, that the marquee event has attracted all the top-10 players of the current Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and also last year’s final top-10 on the Merit list.
Hend is tipped to contend for the spectacular Maybank trophy sculpted in the shape of a tiger head which is part of its corporate emblem. Last year, he won twice at the Thailand Classic and Queen’s Cup and savoured his rise to the top of the Asian golf pinnacle with over US$1 million in earnings.
Since joining the Asian Tour in 2007, the 44-year-old has become the most successful international golfer in the region following an impressive haul of nine career victories. “I'm looking forward to competing at Saujana next week. I've heard a lot about the venue and it's also a great tournament for us. It would be fantastic to contend again for a win,” said Hend.
“The Asian Tour was a great place for me to be at a time where I had nothing and I came to Q-School and finished runner-up to Ben Leong (of Malaysia). And from then on, I went to Pakistan, finished second and all of a sudden hit greater heights and climbed my way up to top-60 in the world. Hopefully from here, I’ll get on with it,” said Hend.
Lahiri, Asia’s number one in 2015, has always enjoyed competing on Malaysian soil with one victory previously along with numerous other top-10s. Together with a crop of rising Indian stars such as Gaganjeet Bhullar, Chikkarangappa S. and Shubhankar Sharma, the Indian contingent is expected to feature prominent on the leaderboard at Saujana, which last hosted a major event in 2009.
Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand
Current Order of Merit leader Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand will be one to watch following his outstanding victory at the Singapore Open two weeks ago where he became the second oldest champion on Tour at the age of 50 years and 357 days. The veteran Thai star, who holds 10 career wins in Asia, has finished tied second previously in Saujana in 2009.
The ultra-talented Jeunghun Wang of Korea, who won the Qatar Masters last weekend and was third on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit last season, will also be expected to challenge for the Maybank Championship title along with close friend Soomin Lee, who let victory slip from his grasp at last year’s inaugural Maybank Championship.
China’s Wu Ashun and Li Haotong, both winners on the European Tour and were joint runners-up at the World Cup of Golf last November, will also feature in Malaysia.
Saujana also hosted the World Amateur Championship previously which holds fond memories for three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que of the Philippines.
“We’ve played the course three times previously and as an amateur as well. I’ve heard they’ve some changes to certain holes. I’ve got some good memories there. At the World Amateur, our finished third and I also finished third in the individual category.
“It’s a course where you have to grind out a score and be patient which is my game. Hopefully it’ll be the week where I can win. I’ve won in Malaysia before (Selangor Masters) and a lot of people know me there and the fans are so welcoming. I’m looking forward to it,” said Que.
The international stars who will feature in the Maybank Championship include title holder Marcus Fraser of Australia, who was second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year, reigning Masters Tournament champion Danny Willet and former Major winner Charl Schwartzel.
Maybank – Humanising Financial Services
Maybank is among Asia’s leading banking groups and South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. The Maybank Group has an international network of 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Great Britain and the United States of America. The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 44,000 employees worldwide (www.maybank.com)
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships.
We specialise in providing the full spectrum in sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line.
We assist all our clients to create strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players’ managers to source the best players. GlobalOne has staged a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, (2006 – 2015) which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status.
About the European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2016, the European Tour International Schedule features 47 tournaments in 27 countries, all part of the Race to Dubai, the year-long competition which crowns the European Tour Number One at the end of the season, a title claimed in 2015 by Rory McIlroy for the third time.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 25 Members celebrate a total of 51 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which features 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which features 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About the 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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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www.asiantour.com
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About Saujana Golf & Country Club
Founded in 1984, Saujana Golf and Country Club offers two 18-hole golf courses namely ‘Palm Course’ and ‘Bunga Raya Course’. These courses are exquisitely designed for championship play by the renowned golf course landscaped architect, Ronald Fream Design Group California, USA & Ted Parslow of E&G Parslow, Australia. The two world renowned courses, have been accorded countless international accolades including “The best Championship Course in Asia (Palm Course)” by Asian Golf Monthly 2005 and # 69 “Top 100 Best Courses outside the USA (Bunga Raya Course)”by Golf Digest 2005. Further voted in the World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses by Rolex & 6th Toughest Course in the World (Palm Course) by CNNGo.com 2012. SGCC is the 15th Member of the exclusive European Tour Properties, only the third outside of Europe and the first in Malaysia to be an official European Tour Destination. Saujana Golf & Country Club is also nestled alongside the beauty of two hotels, namely The Saujana Kuala Lumpur and The Club Saujana Resort.