World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi of Korea will defend her title in this October’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. The tournament also received a boost when Sime Darby Berhad announced a three-year extension to their title sponsorship of the event.
Choi eked out a thrilling victory at Kuala Lumpur GCC’s East Course last year, beating World No. 1 Yani Tseng by one shot. With six LPGA titles to her name including this year’s US Women’s Open, she will be a leading contender in this year’s tournament.
“It is always a privilege to play at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournaments and to compete with the best in the women’s game; it will be my third year playing in this tournament and it’s an event I really enjoy as the fans are always so supportive,” said Choi, who won her first Major in the US Women’s Open in early July by four shots over compatriot Amy Yang.
“Having won the title last year, the tournament has a special place in my heart, so I’m really looking forward to getting back onto the course again at KLGCC.”
Sime Darby’s renewed title sponsorship will see the tournament continue through until 2015 at KLGCC.
Dato’ Wahab Maskan, the Group Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Sime Darby Property said: “We are indeed honoured to be involved with this tournament for the third year running. The Sime Darby LPGA has without doubt set a benchmark in the golf arena both regionally and internationally. We certainly look forward to another very successful LPGA event and hope that our efforts will ensure that the sport of golf continues to grow across Asia for years to come. The programme is aligned to this objective and will strengthen SD Group’s intent to contribute to the development of sports in Malaysia and to put Malaysia on the map of world events”.
This year’s tournament tees-off at KLGCC on October 11-14 with a field of 72 players competing for a total prize purse of US$1.9 million. 62 players will be from the LPGA Tour and they will be joined by 10 sponsor’s invites including four players from local and regional qualifier events on September 4-5.
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan praised the tournament sponsors for their continued support of golf in the region. “We would like to thank Sime Darby Berhad for their unwavering commitment to the game of golf and for bringing the LPGA Tour to Malaysia. This partnership extension gives our players a chance to return to a place where they love to play at a fantastic tournament and venue. We expect another exciting battle for the trophy amongst the world’s top players and we also hope to inspire young Malaysians with the world’s best role models,” he said.
Sime Darby Berhad continues to remain active at the grassroots level, notably with the Sime Darby LPGA Developmental Programme that provides a multi-faceted training programme for golfers who hope to qualify for the tournament. The multinational conglomerate will once again donate funds from this year’s event to the official charity, Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF).