Local pros to battle for CIMB Classic berth

Nicholas Fung is now the highest-ranked Malaysian at No. 322.

Nicholas Fung is now the highest-ranked Malaysian at No. 322.

KUALA LUMPUR: About 100 local pros will battle it out for a coveted CIMB Classic berth in the SapuraKencana national qualifier at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from Aug 25-27.

The US$7mil (RM22mil) CIMB Classic from Oct 30-Nov 2 is the only official US PGA Tour tournament in Asia.

Besides the champion of the national qualifier, the highest-ranked Malaysian in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as at Oct 20 will also get to play.

Nicholas Fung, who finished 63rd in last year’s event, is now the highest-ranked Malaysian at No. 322.

“The SapuraKencana national qualifier has gone from strength to strength over the years,” said Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin, the president and group chief executive officer of SapuraKencana.

“With a place in the CIMB Classic at stake, it provides unprecedented opportunities for the best home-grown talent to elevate their standing and benchmark themselves against golfers from the rest of the world,” he added.

A total prize of RM150,000 is up for grabs in the national qualifier with the winner taking home RM22,000.

Top local pros like Danny Chia, Airil Rizman Zahari, Iain Steel and Mohd Shaaban Hussin, the national qualifier winner in 2011 and 2010, have confirmed their participation.

Mohd Rashid Ismail won the national qualifier last season and went on to finish joint 75th in the CIMB Classic.