Current FedExCup Playoffs leader Patrick Reed, former Masters champion Adam Scott and Spanish star Sergio Garcia are among the early commitments for this year’s CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Other notable confirmations include Englishmen Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, top Japanese player Hideki Matsuyama, Major champions Keegan Bradley and Ernie Els, as well as 23 year-old defending champion Justin Thomas who earned his first PGA Tour victory at last year’s CIMB Classic.
“As the only official PGA Tour FedExCup tournament in Southeast Asia, the CIMB Classic has been defined by its star power, attracting the globe’s golfing luminaries to tee-off here. This exciting early line-up is proof that the CIMB Classic continues to be an important stop in the PGA Tour calendar,” said Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group. “We expect a stellar field as we approach the commitment deadline, and fans the world over will be treated to world-class golf at TPC Kuala Lumpur this October.”
Making his fourth consecutive start at the CIMB Classic is American Reed, who won The Barclays in August to take the lead in the FedExCup Playoffs. The fiery American had his best finish at the CIMB Classic last year when he tied for 10th. Reed, who represented America in the Olympics and will play on the US Ryder Cup team later this month, is No. 8 in the world and one of the most consistent players this season with 11 top-10 finishes so far.
Also returning to the CIMB Classic after a runner-up finish to Justin Thomas last year is former World No. 1 Scott. The Aussie won the Masters in 2013 and is the owner of 13 PGA Tour victories. The highlight of the season for Scott was his back-to-back victories at The Honda Classic and the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship early in the year, moving him to the top of the FedExCup rankings which he held for 10 weeks. Scott ranks sixth in the world and is currently fifth in the FedExCup Playoffs going into the BMW Championship.
Nine-time PGA Tour winner and World No. 12 Garcia won the AT&T Byron Nelson earlier this year to go along with three other top-10s. He will play in his eighth Ryder Cup for the European Team this fall, where he has a sterling record of 18-9-5. This is Garcia’s fourth consecutive year playing in the CIMB Classic, his best finish a tie for second in 2014.
European Ryder Cup vice-captain Poulter will be making his first start in the CIMB Classic and will be looking to earn his first PGA Tour victory since 2012; he has two wins in his career. Fellow Englishman Paul Casey, who finished second at the Deutsche Bank Championship last week and vaulting into the FedExCup Playoffs top-10, will be making his second appearance at the CIMB Classic; he finished T24 last year.
The CIMB Classic, with a purse of US$7 million, is part of the PGA Tour’s season-long FedExCup competition and is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia. Into its seventh year, the CIMB Classic 2016 will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions.
Malaysia will be represented by the winner of the SapuraKencana National Classic and the highest ranked Malaysian golfer in the OWGR as at October 11. The PGA Tour player commitment deadline for the tournament is 21 September 2016.