FOR the first time, Maybank Pla-tinum cardholders will be given free access to watch the May-bank Malaysian Open 2013 golf tournament live.
Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said all the cardholders had to do was to present their cards at the point of entry.
He added that to further promote the event, Maybank would expand its Corporate Golf Challenge to Sin-gapore, the Philippines and Indonesia this year.
“Winners from the Corporate Challenge will experience the tournament live, with exclusive access to the Maybank Hospitality Marquee and get the chance to play at the championship course during the Corporate Golf Day.
“Since taking up the title sponsorship of the event eight years ago, Maybank has managed to attract high-calibre golfers from around the world with the likes of Rory McIIroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Matteo Manassero, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Charlie Wie, Thongchai Jaidee, KJ Choi and Alvaro Quiros all appearing at the event,” Megat Zaharuddin said at the launch of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) recently.
The tournament will be held from March 21 to 24 at KLGCC and it is regarded as the most prestigious golf event in the country and a leading national open in the region.
The tournament organisers have upped the ante with a prize purse of US$2.75mil (RM8.3mil) this year, an increase of US$250,000 from last year’s event.
Current world No.2, Luke Donald, will be taking part in the tournament, where the Hertfordshire, England, native will make his debut.
The 35-year-old is determined to regain the world crown this year from Rory McIlroy, one of his team-mates in Europe’s thrilling success at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Donald, who won the Money Lists on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011, has accrued a total of seven European Tour titles, including back-to-back success in the tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.
Megat Zaharuddin said Donald’s participation was another boost for the Maybank Malaysian Open.
“Donald’s presence, like many other top players we have had in the past, will not only draw the crowd but also strengthen Malaysia’s standing on the global golfing map.
“Given the growing interest and spectator numbers at the Maybank Malaysian Open, we intend to continue inspiring local fans and golfers with the opportunity to see the world’s best on our greens,” he said.
The tournament was the first na-tional open in Asia to be co-sanctio-ned by both the European and Asian Tours in 1999.
GlobalOne chief executive officer John Eu said Donald’s participation was just the first of a series of exciting revelations leading up to the tournament.
Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) vice-president Datuk Mohd Zain Yusuf said the event had always been a platform for Malaysian golfers to elevate their performance and propel their careers in the international arena.
“Gavin Kyle Green is one such upcoming young golfer and many of our Malaysian players have benefited tremendously from the exposure and opportunity to play in an international event, alongside professionals from around the world,” he said.
Asian Tour chief executive officer Mike Kerr said, “Every year, Asian Tour stars look forward to competing in the Maybank Malaysian Open which is a world-renowned championship.
“Our members have always been successful in this prestigious meet with the likes of Arjun Atwal, Anthony Kang, Thongchai Jaidee and Noh Seung-yul winning the championship in recent years.
“We are pleased to work closely with the MGA, the European Tour and GlobalOne to promote golf at the highest level in,” he said.
EurAsia Golf senior director Charlie Tingey said since they began co-sanctioning the event in 1999, the stature of the Maybank Malaysian Open has grown year-on-year.
He thanked the Asian Tour and the MGA for all their efforts, as well as title sponsor Maybank and promoter GlobalOne.
KLGCC general manager Steven Thielke said this would be the fourth year the club was the official ve- nue for the Maybank Malaysian Open.
For details, visit www.maybankmalaysianopen.com or follow us on Twitter @maybankmsiaopen or #maybankmalaysianopen.