Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott headline the early confirmations for this year’s CIMB Classic.
Offering full FedExCup points for the third year in a row, the US$7 million tournament takes place at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) on October 29-November. 78 players will compete for the US$1.26 million top prize at KLGCC’s West Course, comprising 60 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions.
Stenson, the winner of the 2013 FedExCup, will be playing in the CIMB Classic for the first time while Garcia will making his third appearance in the event (he tied for second in the 2014 edition).
Scott returns to the event for the first time since 2010 with a vastly-enhanced resume – as a Major winner with the 2013 Masters to his name and as a former World No 1. The Aussie will certainly be one of the crowd favourites, as will Garcia who never fails to entertain wherever he plays.
2014 champion Ryan Moore will return to defend his title and look for a third consecutive win at the tournament. In last year’s tournament, the American star won by three shots over Garcia as well as compatriots Gary Woodland and Kevin Na.
Other early commitments came from South African legend Ernie Els and his compatriot Branden Grace, Australians Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, New Zealand’s Danny Lee and India’s Anirban Lahiri – all of whom, along with Scott, will be playing for the International team in the Presidents Cup early this month. Also committed for the tournament are Americans Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk, part of the Team USA for the Presidents Cup.
Another player who returns with a hugely-improved CV is Lee, the Korea-born Kiwi who broke though for his first PGA Tour victory in The Greenbrier Classic earlier this year.
“This is the sixth edition of the CIMB Classic and the tournament has gone from strength to strength, evidenced by the quality and depth of its field,” said Effendy Shahul Hamid, Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of CIMB Group. “Early commitments are always a good indication of interest in the event, and as always, we expect to have a stellar tournament week come the end of October.”
Todd Rhinehart, the executive director of the CIMB Classic, lauded the title sponsor for its commitment to enhancing the event year on year.
“CIMB does a great job utilizing the tournament to showcase Malaysia on a global platform. The CIMB Classic is marketed throughout the region as a destination event that brings in fans from across Southeast Asia. It is truly exciting working with a sponsor that continually looks to improve on every aspect of the event from the previous year to ensure the sponsors, fans, volunteers, members and players have a great experience,” said Rhinehart, who has been based in Kuala Lumpur since 2012.
Spectators can also expect more in terms of public facilities with an additional public lounge seating area next to the Heineken Green Experience overlooking the 14th and 15th holes. Rhinehart added that they will be bringing in food trucks and also create a food court with local and western fare.
Out of the eight sponsor’s exemptions, two spots are reserved for Malaysians – the winner of the SapuraKencana National Qualifier which was Ben Leong, and the highest-ranked Malaysian golfer on the Official World Golf Ranking as at September 30 which seems likely to go to veteran Danny Chia.