Former Malaysian Open champion in 2011 Arjun Atwal of India has confirmed his participation in this year's tournament to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club starting next Thursday. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Three more former champions will be competing at the Maybank Malaysian Open golf championship which begins next week.
The organisers confirmed the participation of Arjun Atwal of India (champion in 2003, 2008), Alastair Forsyth of Scotland (2002) and Peter Hedblom of Sweden (2007).
The trio will join defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand to spice up the US$2.75mil (RM8.9mil) event at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from April 17-20.
They will go up against a stellar cast, including former world No. 1 Lee Westwood of England, South Africa’s 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, three-time Asian Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Italian Matteo Manassero.
All of them have also tasted success at the Malaysian Open with Westwood nailing it in 1997, Oosthuizen in 2012, Thongchai in 2004 and 2005 and Manassero in 2011.
Kiradech, whose win last year helped make him Asia’s No. 1, has yet to reproduce his best golf since bagging the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown.
His drop in form is linked to losing his coach, Natpasit Chokthanasart, nicknamed Pro Jew, who died last December.
Nonetheless, the strong-willed Thai is hoping to revive his fortunes by making a spectacular comeback at the KLGCC, to propel him back up the rankings.
With his good track record at KLGCC, he will be aiming to recreate the form that led him to the crown last year. A strong performance in Malaysia will be a major boost to his confidence and possibly see a revival of the Thai star’s career.
Hosts Malaysia will be banking on professionals Nicholas Fung, Danny Chia, Shaaban Hussin, Iain Steel, S. Murthy, S. Siva Chandran, Rizal Amin, Airil Rizman, Sukree Othman, Iylia Jamil, Khor Kheng Hwai, Shaifubari Muda, R. Nachimuthu, Arie Fauzi, Kemarol Baharin, Ben Leong, Wilson Choo and Kenneth De Silva and four amateurs – Gavin Kyle Green, Ervin Chang, Solomon Emilio Rosidin and Mohd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf – to deliver.
Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketpro.com.my