KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time, four Major champions will provide the glamour for the Maybank Malaysian Open, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from April 14-17.
Led by world No. 1 Martin Kaymer, the star-studded field will see a total of 156 golfers in action in the 50th edition of the tournament.
Kaymer, the winner of the PGA Championship last year, will be joined by 2004 British Open winner Todd Hamilton, 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2005 US Open Championship winner Michael Campbell.
There is still a wildcard entry for a foreign golfer to be named by event promoters GlobalOne over the next few days.
In addition to the four Major winners, the field will also have well-known names in Rory Mcllroy, Charl Schwartzel, Matteo Manassero, John Parry, Andrew Dodt, Soren Kjeldsen, Pablo Martin, Rhys Davies, Thongchai Jaidee and Marcus Fraser.
South Korean Noh Seung-yul will return to defend the title along with 2009 winner Anthony Kang of the United States.
Title sponsors Maybank named their four wildcard entries yesterday. They are Joakim Haeggman, Matthew Nixon and Alexandre Kaleka from the European Tour and Asian Tour’s Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand.
Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said: “We feel that these four fine professionals deserve the chance based on past and recent performances.
“Age is not a factor. In fact with age comes experience and these players might even surprise fans at the Malaysian Open and emerge as the champion.
“Over the past 50 years, the Open has nurtured and grown individual talent, who have gone on to greater heights and become champions in world events.
“This year, the strong line-up of players will improve motivation among all players and audiences will definitely get to witness a fantastic golf spectacle to celebrate 50 years of the Malaysian Open.”
He also announced the continued support of returning official sponsors – Ricoh, Emirates, Carlsberg, Maxis and Astro.
“What better way to celebrate the 50th edition of the Open than to have the continued support of our main sponsors. With partnership such as this, the event is just going to get bigger and better,” said Zaharuddin.
Other partners of the event include Crestlink, Spritzer, Singleton, Hyundai, Havana Club, ParGolf Magazine, Expatriate Lifestyle, Walton, 100Plus, Double Tree Hilton and Kenwood.
The executive chairman of the Asian Tour, Kyi Hla Han, said that the Malaysian Open continued to grow in stature and the top class field was testament of its growing popularity among top golfers.
“The Open will showcase the elite players from the Asian Tour taking on their counterparts from the European Tour,” he said.
“Over the years, our highly talented members have enjoyed great success in Malaysia and have used the prestigious championship to propel their careers to greater heights.”
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