The reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion cruised to a three-shot victory in last year’s edition and will look for a repeat performance at the RM1.2 million (approximately US$400,000) event.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, Scott Hend of Australia, Anirban Lahiri of India, Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, Berry Henson of the United States, Siddikur of Bangladesh and Angelo Que of the Philippines will also feature at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.
Exciting talents Jonathan Moore of the United States, Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand are also in the elite field where they will hunt for their first victory on the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season this year
Thaworn, who holds an unprecedented 15 Asian Tour titles courtesy of three victories last year, is banking on his short-game expertise to guide him to a successful title defence at the challenging Seri Selangor course.
“I have good imagination which helps in my short game. It is very important. The shot, the stroke, the swing are all related to the imagination. If my feeling is no good, I keep going in my short game practice.
“It doesn’t matter how many hours. I have spent half a day just practising my short game. If I lose my feel, I’ll just keep going. It’s all down to practice,” said Thaworn.
His Order of Merit success will see him returning to The Open Championship next month for the second time in his illustrious career. He also earned a special invitation to The Masters Tournament in April.
“Playing in the Majors is important. It is good for my reputation and I’m looking forward to playing in The Open for the second time,” smiled the 46-year-old.
Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, will be determined to continue his superb track record at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters where he has never finished outside the top-five since 2011.
“I like playing in Malaysia. I have come close to winning my second Asian Tour title on so many occasions. Hopefully it will come soon,” said Siddikur.
Worldwide Holdings, a 100 per cent subsidiary of PKNS – the development arm of the state of Selangor – will title sponsor the Selangor Masters for the sixth successive year. The state-linked company has an impressive portfolio of businesses which include property development and investment, environmental management services and investment holding in Selangor.
The weekend rounds of the tournament will be telecast live on the Asian Tour’s global platform which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes.