Major champions, EurAsia Cup heroes and Asian Tour Order of Merit winners will ensure a truly memorable beginning for the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia next week.
The US$3 million Maybank Championship Malaysia is the newest addition on the European Tour and Asian Tour schedules, and it has attracted Major stars including Martin Kaymer of Germany, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, the European EurAsia Cup captain who will also lead the continent in The Ryder Cup.
An in-form Danny Willett of England, who won last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, will also contend for the title alongside Asian Tour Order of Merit winners David Lipsky of the United States, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh of India and Thai trio Thaworn Wiratchant, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee.
Young and talented stars Matthew Fitzpatrick of England, Younghan Song of Korea, who defeated world number one Jordan Spieth in Singapore two weeks ago, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Shaun Norris of South Africa, currently ranked second on the Order of Merit, will also feature at the Royal Selangor Golf Club from February 18 to 21.
Malaysia will be well represented at the Maybank Championship Malaysia as Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung will spearhead the local challenge alongside the big-hitting Gavin Green, Ben Leong, Airil Rizman and recently turned professional Low Khai Jei.
Aphibarnrat, the 2013 Asian Tour number one, will draw on his winning memories in Malaysia three years ago.
“Malaysia is like a second home to me and the victory in Malaysia in 2013 really helped me achieve the success which I have today,” he said. “I like coming back to Malaysia because the people are friendly and I have a lot of fans here. The weather is also hot and it suits my game.
The 26-year-old Thai is among six players ranked inside the top-50 in the Official World Golf Rankings who will feature in the tournament. World Number 13 Willett is the highest ranked golfer in the field.