Kuala Lumpur, August 6: Tiger Woods will headline this year’s CIMB Classic, the third edition of the only PGA Tour-sanctioned event in the region. Also confirmed for this year’s tournament are past champions Bo Van Pelt and Ben Crane.
The event will once again be held on October 25-28 at the Mines Resort & Golf Club, where players will compete for a total purse of USD6.1million. The tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, will again feature 48 players, with 30 coming from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and 8 sponsor’s exemptions.
“We’re extremely pleased to be able to bring the CIMB Classic back this year,” said Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group. “The early confirmations will give this year’s event great early momentum. Ben and Bo have developed a good local following; and Tiger will be a huge draw especially given his ASEAN roots.”
CIMB Group also announced that beginning in 2013, the CIMB Classic will be upgraded to an Official Money Event on the PGA TOUR and will be part of the season-long FedExCup competition. The field will also be expanded to include a minimum of 78 players and will carry a total purse of USD7million. The tournament would take on a new profile in the form of the CIMB Classic, versus the previous CIMB Asia Pacific Classic. This will essentially put the tournament branding more in line with how the major events of the PGA TOUR are branded following its uplifted status.
“The plan has always been to become a full-fledged event of the PGA TOUR, so this is fantastic news for us, for Malaysia and for the region,” said Nazir as he announced that CIMB had signed a new 5 year deal with PGA TOUR.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said, “In just two years, the CIMB Classic has become an important part of the PGA TOUR schedule and we are excited that this relationship has been extended for an additional five years. The tournament will continue to grow in stature as it becomes an official event and part of the FedExCup in our 2013-2014 season.”
“Congratulations to the nation of Malaysia and the CIMB Group on this important announcement,” added Finchem.
The CIMB Classic 2012 will be managed and operated by the Championship Management division of the PGA TOUR. Todd Rhinehart of the PGA TOUR has been designated as Executive Director of the CIMB Classic. He was previously the Executive Director of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the final event in the FedExCup Playoffs.
CIMB Group also announced that two places in the field will be reserved for Malaysians, one for the highest ranked Malaysian in the Official World Golf Ranking and the other for the winner of a qualifying tournament to be organised by the Professional Golfers Association of Malaysia (PGAM).
As part of CIMB’s continuous efforts towards nurturing and developing talented young golfers around the region, the CIMB Junior Golf Development Programme has also grown from strength to strength.
“To date, 128 junior golfers aged 10-18, from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore have benefited from the CIMB Junior Development Programme. Results have been extremely encouraging and we hope to be able to one day produce a great champion from ASEAN,” he added.