Tour stars ready to roar at CIMB Classic

Mon 26 Oct 2015

Tour stars ready to roar at CIMB Classic

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Kuala Lumpur, October 26: Indian star Anirban Lahiri will lead an in-form cast of Asian Tour stars at the US$7 million CIMB Classic which starts on Thursday.
The current Asian Tour number one will be joined by Australia’s Scott Hend, who won his seventh Asian Tour title a fortnight ago, Andrew Dodt and India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) West course.
[pullquote align="left"]"I’m hoping that it will be a freakish week where you win the tournament and all of the sudden, you’ll be playing in the U.S." - Scott Hend[/pullquote]
Exciting young talents Richard T. Lee of Canada, Paul Peterson of the United States and Cameron Smith of Australia, who finished tied fifth at the CIMB Classic last year, will also feature in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.
Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who ended a 13-year title drought at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters earlier this month, and veterans Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand and Singaporean Mardan Mamat, who have a combined total of 14 Asian Tour titles, also qualified for the CIMB Classic as the leading 10 players on the Order of Merit as of Sunday.
Local talents Ben Leong and Arie Irawan will also be part of the elite field which has attracted a stellar line-up including Major champions Ernie Els of South Africa, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner of the United States.
Andrew Dodt of Australia Andrew Dodt of Australia
World number 37 Lahiri, who finished tied seventh in Hong Kong last week, is hoping to maintain his pursuit of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown where he currently leads with a season haul of US$1,060,684.
“This week is critical. That’s probably the week that’s going to decide a large extent how the rest of the Order of Merit chase runs out so hopefully I can play well. I’ve won at the KLGCC course earlier this year so that will be a huge motivation for me,” said Lahiri, who is now the third player to earn more than US$1 million in a single season on the Asian Tour.
Big-hitting Hend, who played on the PGA TOUR in 2004 and 2005, will make his third appearance at the CIMB Classic and hopes to extend his fine form which saw him win the Venetian Macao Open two weeks ago.
“I’m hoping that it will be a freakish week where you win the tournament and all of the sudden, you’ll be playing in the U.S. It’s all our dreams to try to be exempt back in the U.S. That’s what I’m trying to do,” said Hend, who is currently ranked second on the Order of Merit with US$438,781.
“KLGCC is a positional golf course. It’s a war of attrition. It gets so hot out there and you’ve got to manage yourself well and stop your head from exploding in the heat. If I do the right things there, I feel I’ll have a chance,” he added.
The 29-year-old Dodt won his second Asian Tour title in Thailand earlier in February and is relishing the challenge of playing against many of the world’s best golfers.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
“For me, it feels like a Major. It’s my biggest event of the year and I’ve got to treat it like that. I’ve got to put in my preparation for it and get the best result that week,” said Dodt, who made his debut in the CIMB Classic in 2010.
Chawrasia will draw confidence from a tied-10th result at the Malaysian Open earlier this year, which was also played at the KLGCC West Course. He hopes his course knowledge will give him the extra edge this week.
“It’s good for Asian Tour players to have the opportunity to play in the CIMB Classic. I think it’s a good chance to get into the PGA TOUR but you’ve got to play well,” said the three-time Asian Tour winner.
“I’ve played many times at the KLGCC and I feel comfortable on the course. You’ve got to hit it straight and putt well. There’s a combination of long and short holes, it’s a good course set up that doesn’t only favour the long hitters,” added Chawrasia.
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 USD 12.4 billion as at 30 June 2015 and over 44,000 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 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
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, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion 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 2013, tournaments across all Tours generated more than $134 million for local and national charitable organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR’s all-time charitable contributions surpassed $2 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
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 Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About PGA of Malaysia (PGAM)
The PGA of Malaysia is the umbrella body for all professional golfers in Malaysia. As the governing body, the PGA of Malaysia is the sole sanctioning authority for professional tournaments in the country. It is also tasked with the promotion and development of the game of golf at all levels and provides training, education and professional development for its members.