World No.19 Danny Willett of England and Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat will tee-off in the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia at Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC) this February 18-21.
The trio join previously confirmed players Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer, ensuring that the US$3 million event will have at least five of the world’s top 40 golfers.
Willett finished second to Rory McIlroy in the European Tour’s 2015 Race to Dubai ranking. A former world amateur No 1, Willett turned professional in May 2008 and has won three times on the European Tour. At the 2015 Open Championship, he finished tied for sixth at the Old Course at St Andrews for his best finish in a Major.
A Malaysian favourite, Thongchai is regarded as one of Asia’s best players with an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns. The Thai stalwart is one of only three players to win back-to-back Malaysian Opens, achieving the feat in 2004 and 2005.
Currently ranked No.28 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Thongchai finished 10th in the 2015 Race To Dubai with one victory in the European Open for his seventh European Tour title.
Kiradech is one of the most exciting young players to emerge from Thailand. In 2013, he won the Maybank Malaysian Open and went on end the season as the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion. In 2015, he won twice on the European Tour to finish the season in 13th place in the Race to Dubai and 38th in the world ranking.
The MCM will feature 67 players each from the European Tour and Asian Tour. In addition, starts will be given to the top 10 players on the Professional Golf Of Malaysia Tour (PGM) Tour Order of Merit for 2015 and up to five ASEAN professionals not otherwise qualified An additional two spots will be given to Malaysian professionals and one spot to the top player on the Middle East North African Tour.
Two spots are reserved for other top players who are not members of European Tour and Asian Tour. The final two spots will be given to amateurs ; the highest ranked Malaysian in the Men’s Amateur World Rankings and the reigning Asian Pacific Amateur champion.
For more information and updates, log on to www.maybankchampionship.com.my.