Major winners Martin Kaymer of Germany and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa have confirmed their participation in the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia, which tees off on February 18-21 at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
Former World No 1 Kaymer won the 2010 PGA Championship and 2014 US Open to seal his place among the world’s elite players, while Oosthuizen claimed the 2010 British Open at St Andrews and has a large following in this country having won the 2012 Maybank Malaysian Open.
“The inclusion of players like Oosthuizen and Kaymer alongside a field of play that is being curated to be among the best in Asia is sure to elevate the championship as we begin a new chapter in ASEAN’s professional golf scene. The Maybank Championship Malaysia marks our commitment to raising the bar for professional golf and we will be making several other similar player announcements and innovations in the coming months,” said Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor at a press conference today.
Several innovations to the 156-player field for the championship were also announced, with five slots reserved for ASEAN players and no less than 13 for Malaysians not otherwise qualified.
“Golf tournaments in the region have reached a pivotal point as the quality of the organisation, courses and star players have grown over the years. As a long time supporter and sponsor of Malaysia’s leading golf event over the past decade, Maybank has been on the forefront of that evolution. Today, we are beginning the next stage of that growth as we focus our attention on creating a Championship that seeks to elevate the entire field of play, grow and sustain the attention of spectators from across the region, and ensure that every player is given the same respect and attention as would have been reserved for star or headline players in years past,” said Tan Sri Megat.
The inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia is co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour, Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour and Professional Golfers Association of Malaysia (PGAM). This marks the first time that all professional golfing bodies in Malaysia have collaborated for the common good of the game as well as its professional players.
“We are working with the PGM Tour and PGAM; the Asian Tour and the European Tour; and our local Ministry of Youth and Sports through the Sports Commissioner’s office to ensure that every player, visitor and fan that visits us receives the best possible experience. This includes efforts to enable the participation of as many appropriately qualified professional golfers from as many countries in the region as possible,” said Tan Sri Megat.
The player field for will consist of the following:
- The top 67 available players from the European Tour and the top 67 available players from the Asian Tour.
- The top 10 players on the PGM Tour Order of Merit and members of the PGAM.
- 5 spots will be given to ASEAN professionals based on the Asian Tour Order Of Merit, Asian Development Tour Order Of Merit and national PGA rankings (where available).
- An additional 2 spots will be given to Malaysian professionals.
- 1 spot will be accorded to the top player on the Middle East North African (MENA) Tour.
- 2 spots are reserved for other top players who are not members of the European Tour or the Asian Tour.
- 2 for amateurs for the highest-ranked Malaysian in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner.
Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We look forward to working closely with Maybank and Global One to ensure that the first edition of the Maybank Championship Malaysia is a great success. For many years now, Maybank have been great supporters of both The European and Asian Tours, and indeed of the game of golf across Asia.
“With the likes of Anirban Lahiri and Kiradech Aphibarnrat making great strides, golf in Asia is currently in very good health and I am sure this new tournament will continue to grow the game across the region. To have two Major Champions in Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen committed to the Maybank Championship Malaysia is a real statement of intent, and I’m sure there will be more high profile players keen to follow their lead.”
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “On behalf of our players, I would like to extend our fullest appreciation to Maybank for its vision and commitment to stage a golf tournament that will further invigorate the development of professional golf at the highest level in Asia.
“While the top players from the Asian Tour will enjoy the opportunity to compete against the stars from the European Tour, we must laud Maybank for including leading ASEAN and Malaysian golfers to be a part of what will be truly a world-class golf championship. Malaysia has long been an important market for the Asian Tour and we look forward to working closely with the PGM and PGAM as well for the betterment of the game in the country and across Asia,” he added.
For details log on to www.maybankchampionship.com.my