Tour stars target Malaysian Open title

Sat 12 Apr 2014

Tour stars target Malaysian Open title

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Kuala Lumpur, April 12: It is no surprise that the Maybank Malaysian Open holds a special place for many Asian Tour stars.
Through the years, the best players from the region have enjoyed great success in the prestigious event which has subsequently propelled their careers to new heights.
In the last 10 editions of the Malaysian Open, a total of six Asian Tour members - Thongchai Jaidee, Noh Seung-yul, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Arjun Atwal, Charlie Wi and Anthony Kang – have emerged victorious.
Thongchai, Noh and Kiradech also used their success in the Malaysian Open to claim the prestigious Asian Tour Order of Merit crown. Noh, the youngest ever Asian number one, is now playing regularly on the PGA Tour while Thongchai and Kiradech continue to enjoy great success in Asia and Europe.
The Thai duo were also key figures in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM as they were part of Team Asia who shared the trophy with Europe after battling back from an opening round 0-5 loss in the fourball session.
Thongchai and Kiradech have always hailed Malaysia as their ‘second home’ thanks largely to the warm support that they enjoy from the local fans.
“Every time I play here, I feel like I’m home. I guess it is due to the weather and a lot of fans follow me and are cheering for me. That gives me a lot of power to play in this country. I love to come here and I always look forward to playing here,” said Kiradech, who will defend his Maybank Malaysian Open title next week at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
The 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open is poised to be another exciting week as former champions Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood and Matteo Manassero will headline the event alongside EurAsia Cup Team Asia heroes Anirban Lahiri, Siddikur Rahman and Prayad Marksaeng.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
Through the strong support of the Malaysian government and dedicated sponsors such as Maybank, the Asian Tour has now staged a total of 28 tournaments in the country worth in excess of US$50 million in total prize money since 2004.
Other important tournaments such as the Qualifying School, World Cup Qualifying and British Open Qualifier have also been hosted in Malaysia in the past which have been instrumental in growing the sport in the country.
In addition to the Asian Tour events, the Asian Development Tour (ADT), which was afforded with Official World Golf Ranking status in 2013, has staged 33 tournaments in Malaysia since 2010 through a successful partnership with the PGM Tour, helmed by the enterprising Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.
The bespectacled Nicholas Fung won the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit last season and enjoyed a career high on the Asian Tour when he finished 36th on the Merit list courtesy of two top-five results.
He was a captain’s pick in the EurAsia Cup where he put on a battling performance in the singles where he lost by 1-Hole to European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez who birdied 18.
The experience of playing alongside many of the best players in the world has given the young Malaysian hope of becoming the first local to win his National Open.
“It’ll be nice to become the first Malaysian winner but it will be a tough challenge. However, all it takes is one good week … anything can happen in golf,” said the 23-year-old Fung.
“I’ve never made the cut at the Malaysian Open, so that would be the first target to try and get into the weekend. As an amateur, I have always wanted to play in the Malaysian Open but the challenge for us is to try to win the tournament,” he added.
Thongchai, a double Malaysian Open winner, always enjoys competing in the country and his success as Asian captain in the EurAsia Cup will certainly earn him more fans support when he tees up here next week.
After making the halfway cut at the Masters Tournament on Friday, Thongchai will be hoping to land a third Maybank Malaysian Open win. “Malaysia is like my second home. I always enjoy coming here to play golf and I always get good support from the fans,” said the three-time Asian Tour number one.
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,200 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.
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 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) 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.
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 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), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).