Reigning Masters champion Danny Willett will tee-off in the second edition of the Maybank Championship at Saujana Golf & Country Club next February 9-12.
“It’s always great to be back in Malaysia and I have some great memories of my past appearances here in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve played pretty nicely here in the past so I will definitely be coming to Saujana with confidence and aiming to put in a strong performance across the four days,” said the Englishman during today’s media event at The Saujana Hotel.
“Being here this week has given me a chance to see how the course is playing and it was fun being out there this morning with some guests from Maybank and Saujana. I am really looking forward to coming back to compete next year,” added the golfer from Yorkshire, who finished the season in second place on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Rankings with two wins and another four top-ten finishes.
Maybank golf ambassador Gavin Green has also been given a start in the US$3 million event and will be looking to do well, having missed the cut in the inaugural event at Royal Selangor Golf Club.
“It has been a great year for me with a couple of wins on the Asian Development Tour as well representing Malaysia at the Rio Olympics. It has also been a year of learning for me, playing in my first PGA Tour event as well as other Asian Tour and European Tour events. I am also very thankful for opportunities like the Maybank Championship as the experience gained is invaluable. I look forward to building on it next year at Saujana, especially in front of a home crowd,” said Green, who turned pro in 2015 and was the first amateur to win on the Asian Development Tour in 2014.
Maybank chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin noted: “I will be naming other stars in the coming couple of months in the run-up to next February. Saujana’s Palm Course has provided tough challenges to many world class golfers before, and with it now revamped, I am sure our golfing fans can look forward to much drama and excitement during the event. We plan other associated happenings during the week, to make for an experience of ‘Golf Like Never Before’ for those involved, as players and as spectators”.
Maybank also reaffirmed its commitment to developing golf in the ASEAN region with the announcement of a new ASEAN category for the tournament. The top player from Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam will be selected by their home professional associations based on their local tour rankings as well as their Asian Tour, Asian Development Tour and World Rankings. This specific allocation builds on this year’s inaugural event where four ASEAN players were given tournament invites.
Tan Sri Dato’ Megat said, “After seeing the rising standards of golf professional excellence in the regional countries we operate in, I am very happy to share the news of our new ASEAN category for the Maybank Championship 2017. Talents mature faster with opportunities to compete alongside the best, and in this case, more regional golfers will be up against some of the world’s elite. Our joint Asian/European Tour tournament has a proven track record in revealing future world beaters and I expect next year’s version to continue to provide new surprises.”
Spots will also be given to the top 10 Malaysians from the PGM Tour as well as the winner of next week’s season-ending PGM Maybank Players’ Championship and the top Malaysian amateur based on the world amateur rankings in mid-December. A second amateur invite has been extended to 2016 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner Curtis Luck of Australia.