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Friday, 18 January 2019
Padraig Harrington  (Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington (Getty Images)

Major Championship winners Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington will be among the star attractions at the Maybank Championship at Saujana Golf & Country Club on March 21-24, 2019.

Els, the 2019 Presidents Cup International Captain and Harrington, who will lead Europe in The 2020 Ryder Cup, will join defending champion Shubhankar Sharma and top ranked Malaysian Gavin Green as part of the formidable field that will have players drawn from around the world, including a contingent from the ASEAN region.

The 156-field make-up embraces an all-new category for this tournament, with 15 players from the top 150 of the Official World Golf Ranking, qualifying solely on merit. They join another 60 players drawn from both the Asian Tour and European Tour.

By retaining the iconic ASEAN category, the Maybank Championship has elevated its player field and made it inclusive of world-class players from all the federations. A string of players from Australia, China, New Zealand and South Korea - some of them with an eye on making the Presidents Cup team later this year - will also add significantly to the international composition of the tournament.

But it is the inclusion of Els and Harrington that will capture the imagination of the fans as they await the fourth edition of the Maybank Championship. It is fitting too that included in the field at the US$3 million event in Kuala Lumpur are players of top quality at an event whose tagline is “Where the Best Meet.”

Els

Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Group President and CEO of Maybank, said: “The inclusion of the game’s most active global player Ernie ‘Big Easy’ Els, as well as three-time Major winner and recently appointed European Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington, underscores our objective to feature some of the best players in the world at this premier golf tournament.

“Having our defending champion, Shubhankar Sharma, Maybank’s ASEAN ambassador Gavin Green, Japan’s prince of golf Ryo Ishikawa and ‘Babyface Assassin’ Poom Saksansin in the field, also reaffirms our objective of providing a platform for Asian stars to shine.

“There is no doubt they will add tremendous character to the championship, even by just being here in Kuala Lumpur. But that is not all. The championship will showcase not only the best in golf, but also present a strong essence of our event DNA with delightful cuisine and lifestyle elements of the finest tastes at the week-long event.

“Essentially, the Maybank Championship embraces these spheres of sport and life in a tournament that is family-orientated. The championship is a week where all get to enjoy, watch and experience a first-class event – on and off the course.”

Sharma was a worthy winner of “The Tiger Trophy” last year and he has used his Maybank Championship success to forge his way to the top of the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Order of Merit.

The Indian star’s victory at Saujana also helped catapult him up the world rankings and into the Masters, four World Golf Championships events and earn his European Tour card in the process.

Green, the Asian Tour’s out-going number one having won the 2017 Order of Merit which also earned him full playing rights on the European Tour in 2018, will similarly be aiming to get his season off to a sound start.

Green said: “This is Maybank’s flagship golf tournament and for us who are playing on home soil, we all want to do our best and put that extra bit of effort into it.

“It is a European Tour co-sanctioned event and because of that it features some of the world’s leading players, making it even more difficult to win. But we will give it our shot and see what happens.”

With a list of some of the world’s leading golfers at Saujana, drawn from almost 30 nations, the Maybank Championship looks set for another entertaining and enthralling tournament. Unsurprisingly, it inspires a mix of international and Asian golfers in a truly world-class Malaysian championship.

For further details on upcoming events and other information related to the Maybank Championship, visit www.maybankchampionship.com.my 

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