Following the season’s first Major Championship could be an unenviable task, especially when the Masters Tournament produces a finale of such drama, but this week’s Maybank Malaysian Open has a prestige and history befitting of such a role.
This year sees the tournament mark its 50th anniversary by hosting three current Major champions in Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, US PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer and newly anointed Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
The Maybank Malaysian Open became part of The European Tour’s International Schedule in 1999 as the first event to be co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and the partnership has blossomed since, with six events co-sanctioned in 2011.
First played in 1962 when Australian Frank Phillips was the inaugural champion, the Maybank Malaysian Open is the 14th longest running tournament of the 52 events currently on The European Tour International Schedule.
Leading the way with 139 editions is the Open Championship followed by the US Open Championship (110) and the South African Open Championship (100).
The ALSTOM Open de France is the oldest Open in continental Europe, having been played 94 times, while the UBS Hong Kong Open is the longest running of the co-sanctioned Asian events, with 52 editions.
While the Maybank Malaysian Open is racking up the numbers in terms of a half century of editions, it made the headlines last year for reason relating to a lower figure when Noh Seung-yul became the second youngest professional to win a European Tour event at 18 years and 281 days, narrowly missing the record held by Danny Lee.
Italian Matteo Manassero, of course, now holds the record, having captured the CASTÉLLO MASTERS Costa Azahar aged 17 years and 188 days and all three players will battle it out at Kuala Lumpar Golf & Country Club this week.