Stars hail rising standards of Asian Tour

Tue 03 Feb 2015

Stars hail rising standards of Asian Tour

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Kuala Lumpur, February 3: Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell, who are both headlining this week’s season-opening Maybank Malaysian Open, have marveled at the rising standards of play on the Asian Tour.
The two golfing stars have been regular visitors to the region and believe the game has made giant strides forward over the past decade.
Westwood, defending his title at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, said:  “Golf in Asia in general has grown massively in that time. The standard of golf on the Asian Tour has improved a lot.
“Asian players are happier going and playing on other Tours now and are more successful. So obviously having better players coming over here and playing, the kids have picked up on that and learned things and improved their technique, so now it’s not just on the Asian Tour they play well, they can do that further afield now which is great to see.”
McDowell, the U.S. Open champion in 2010, said the European Tour’s International Schedule, which sees it co-sanctioning a number of high profile events with the Asian Tour, has clearly raised the level of the game in the Far East.
“That’s one of the great things about coming to culturally diverse places, as we do on The European Tour. We’re taking golf to areas where it’s not so much of a high profile sport and where kids maybe don’t have to same opportunities we have in Europe and the States. Getting some young Malaysian players in the field is great – as Nicholas Fung showed in the EurAsia Cup last year – puts the spotlight on Malaysia golf,” said McDowell.
“This week, when you’ve got a phenomenal sponsor like Maybank, gives kids the chance to get a taste for big-golf and the media exposure globally. With the Olympics next year that’s only going to increase. It’ll raise the profile of the sport and take it to people who really haven’t had a flavour of it. It’s fun to be part of that growth.”
Like Westwood, McDowell has also tasted victory on the Asian Tour previously and hopes to see more young Asians stamping their mark on the global stage.
“I’m coming into my 13th season – which makes me feel old – and there’s no doubt we’ve seen golf develop out here in Asia. People’s education level of the game and excitement level – when we first came out here you could sense the crowds and spectators didn’t know much about golf, but now we’ve really seen it develop as young players start to make an impact on the world stage.
“It’s great to part of that growth and to come and experience places like Malaysia and get to meet the young players here. The European Tour has been playing in Asia for many years now and the potential and opportunity for growing the game out here is huge and definitely a big part of the future of the game.”
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People's Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, 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 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being recognised as Number One and Two top golf courses in Malaysia for 2014 by US Golf Digest, voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
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 super-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 currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment), Astro (Official Satellite TV), Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (Official Car), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview Golf (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).