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Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 7:28:00 PM
Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 8:21:52 AM
by shaun orange
American World No.3 golfer, Phil Mickelson headlines the 4th CIMB Classic starting this Thursday at the Kuala Lumpur GCC. - BERNAMA Photo
TODAY, Malaysia officially becomes a regular stop on the US PGA Tour. The fourth edition of the CIMB Classic marks a milestone in this country’s sporting history.
The winner of the US$7mil (RM22.4mil) event will earn a two-year exemption on the Tour, a slot at next year’s Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Atlanta, 500 FedExCup points and a US$1.26mil (RM4.03mil) cheque.
CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Mohd Nazir Razak said they were “honoured to become the first-ever official annual US PGA Tour event outside the Americas”.
The West Course at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) should prove a formidable test for the 78 golfers, including some of the best in the world.
The CIMB Classic has certainly come of age – not only is it sanctioned by the PGA Tour, but it will also feature some of the world’s top names.
World No. 3 Phil Mickelson tops the chart, but it won’t be easy for him to hold the silver trophy in his hands come Sunday afternoon.
There’s a bunch of players with an equally good shot at landing the top prize.
There’s defending champion Nick Watney (world No. 27) and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (No. 15). Jeff Overton (No. 165) has come really close before – finishing as runner-up in 2011.
And let’s not forget the unassuming but consistently sharp Bill Haas (No. 28) and Hideki Matsuyama (No. 29), who at 21 has taken on the mantle of Asia’s brightest prospect.
A shift in venue means that KLGCC will host the tournament for the first time (it was held at the Mines Resort and Golf Club the last three years).
But it’s not the first time it will host a huge international event, given that it has also staged European Tour and LPGA Tour events this year, the last being the women’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia just 10 days ago – albeit on the East Course.
KLGCC has soundly established itself as a venue of excellent repute and this week it should prove no different. Given its location, in Bukit Kiara, fans are expected to come out in greater numbers than in the previous three tournaments.
Tags / Keywords:
CIMB Classic, golf, Phil Mickelson, KLGCC
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