World Number Two Luke Donald is today unveiled as the first star player confirmed for the Maybank Malaysian Open 2013, which returns to Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) from March 21 – 24.
The Maybank Malaysian Open, regarded as the most prestigious golf event in the country and a leading National Open in the region, has also announced an increased prize fund of US$2.75 million, an increase of US$250,000 from last year.
Englishman Donald, will be making his debut in the tournament and the 35 year old is determined to regain the World Number One crown this year from Rory McIlroy, one of his team-mates in Europe’s thrilling success at The 2012 Ryder Cup. Donald, who won the Money Lists on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011, has accrued a total of seven European Tour titles, including back to back success in the Tour’s Flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.
Maybank Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, said: “The confirmation of Luke Donald is indeed another boost for the Maybank Malaysian Open. Since we took over the title sponsorship of this tournament in 2006, we have endeavoured to bring world class golfing personalities to Malaysia.
“Donald’s presence, like many other top players we have had in the past, will not only draw the crowd but also strengthen Malaysia’s standing in the global golfing map. Given the growing interest and spectator numbers at the Maybank Malaysian Open, we intend to continue inspiring our local fans and golfers with the opportunity to see the world’s best on our greens, and in the process raise the standard of golf in Malaysia.”
Tan Sri Megat also announced another initiative to ensure that the Maybank Malaysian Open continues to excite the public.
He said: “For the first time, our Platinum cardholders and above from around the region will be given free access to watch the golf tournament live. All they have to do is to show their cards at the point of entry.”
Tan Sri Megat added that to further promote the Maybank Malaysian Open, it will expand its Corporate Golf Challenge to Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia this year. Winners from the Maybank Corporate Challenge will experience the tournament LIVE, with exclusive access to the Maybank Hospitality Marquee and get the chance to play at the championship course during the Corporate Golf Day.”
Since becoming the title sponsor of the prestigious event eight years ago, Maybank has managed to attract high-calibre golfers from around the world, with the likes of KJ Choi, Thongchai Jaidee, Martin Kaymer, Matteo Manassero, Rory McIIroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Alvaro Quiros and Charlie Wie all having competed in recent editions.
The MMO was the first tournament in Asia to be co-sanctioned by The European and Asian Tours in 1999.
Mr. John Eu, Chief Executive Officer of GlobalOne, said: “Luke Donald is just the start of many exciting announcements leading up to this year’s tournament. We’ve got so much more planned out leading up to and during the tournament it’s definitely an event not to be missed.”
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA), the custodians of the tournament, looks forward to some intense action, good sportsmanship and memorable moments at the upcoming MMO2013.
“Maybank Malaysian Open has always been a platform for professional golfers to elevate their performance and further propel their careers in the international arena. Many of our Malaysian players have benefited tremendously from the exposure and opportunity to play in an international event, alongside professionals from around the world. The Maybank Malaysian Open 2013 will bring out the ‘A-games’ of our participants, leaving spectators with four days of truly spectacular golf action,” said MGA President Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.
“Every year, MMO is viewed by many of our talented members as an opportunity to play alongside some of the world’s best, and our Asian Tour players always look forward to participating in such a world-renowned championship. We are pleased to work with all the respective organizations again and be part of MMO2013,” said Mr. Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of The European Tour, said: “Luke Donald’s debut in this year’s Maybank Malaysian Open and the increase in the prize fund will serve to further heighten the profile of what is already a well-established and prestigious tournament on The European Tour International Schedule. Since we began co-sanctioning the event in 1999, the stature of the Maybank Malaysian Open has grown year on year, and so we should thank our partners at the Asian Tour and the MGA for all their efforts, as well as the title sponsors Maybank and the promoters GlobalOne.”
Come March 2013, KLGCC will be the place to be for electrifying golf action and Mr. Steven Thielke, the Club’s General Manager, said: “This will be KLGCC’s fourth year as the official venue of MMO. We are extremely proud and honoured to once again work with Maybank and GlobalOne to make this international event a success. We look forward to good camaraderie amongst the golfers and spectators during the four-day event.”
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