Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
Englishman Lee Westwood will make his first Maybank Malaysian Open appearance for seven years when he tees up at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from April 17-20.
The 40 year old, who won the title in 1997 before the tournament became part of The European Tour International Schedule two years later, has been confirmed as sponsor Maybank’s first ‘Star Player’.
Maybank Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said: “This can be considered a sort of a homecoming for Westwood. Not only is he a former winner, but he was also a touring professional for a Malaysian club.
“His presence is definitely a big boost for the Maybank Malaysian Open and reaffirms our commitment to continue bringing top class personalities to this prestigious tournament, which is recognised as one of Asia’s leading national opens.
“Westwood’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 on 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, raising the standard of golf in Malaysia.”
Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, President of the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA), said: “Westwood is a seasoned professional who has won countless times all over the world, and in Malaysia as well.
“It is always good to get former champions to play in the Maybank Malaysia Open as we must always tip our hats to the past in order to move forward.”
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, added: “Having Lee Westwood back in Malaysia will heighten the profile of what is already a well-established and prestigious tournament on The European Tour International Schedule.
“He is very popular in Asia in general and Malaysia in particular, especially following his heroics in winning here in 1997."
The Maybank Malaysian Open was the first tournament to be co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Asian Tour, since when notable winners include Thongchai Jaidee (2004, 05), Matteo Manassero (2011) and Louis Oosthuizen (2012). This year it will carry a prize fund of US$2.75million.
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