Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: TPC Kuala Lumpur’s newly-upgraded West Course will take centre stage when the CIMB Classic celebrates its ninth edition from October 11-14.
Title-holder Pat Perez has confirmed his return to Malaysia to defend his title after a dominant four-shot victory over fellow-American Keegan Bradley in 2017.
With a US$7 million prize fund, Malaysia’s biggest annual sporting showpiece will feature 60 professional golfers from the PGA Tour’s 2017-18 FedEx Cup final points standing.
The sole PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament in Southeast Asia is primed to serve another exciting week of world-class golf following the renovation work at TPC Kuala Lumpur, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
CIMB Classic 2018 was launched by Malaysia’s Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, His Honourable Steven Sim Chee Keong, together with Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group, Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Effendy Shahul Hamid, CEO of Group Commercial Banking and Group Asset Management & Investments, CIMB Group and Todd Rhinehart, Vice President and Executive Director of PGA Tour.
Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz said: “Since the launch of the CIMB Classic eight years ago, we are proud and feel privileged that our flagship sporting showcase has helped profile Malaysia to a truly global audience of over one billion homes and 226 countries via live broadcast annually.
“The tournament has placed the country as a prime stage for world-class sports given Malaysia’s central location for golf fans in ASEAN and beyond to visit and experience world-class golf action at their doorstep. The CIMB Classic has also grown the game in Malaysia by inspiring and providing opportunities for Malaysian professional golfers to achieve their best.”
Two Malaysian golfers will once again have the opportunity to compete against stars from the PGA Tour. One slot has been allocated to the winner of the CIMB National Championship, which is scheduled to take place from September 25-28 at TPC Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently, the highest ranked Malaysian on the Official World Golf Ranking as of October 1 will also earn the right to play in the CIMB Classic which was inaugurated in 2010.
Since its first staging, the CIMB Classic has attracted top professional golfers such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Ernie Els.
It has also proved to be a successful launch-pad for many of the game’s newest stars. Justin Thomas won his first PGA Tour tournament at the 2015 CIMB Classic before returning to successfully defend his title in 2016. He has since gone on to win a total of nine PGA Tour tournaments, including a Major victory, and reached the world number one ranking in May. Other young stars who have used the CIMB Classic to launch their careers on the PGA Tour include Japanese number one Hideki Matsuyama and Indian Anirban Lahiri.
Rhinehart said: “As a leading ASEAN universal bank, CIMB has proven to be a terrific partner for the PGA Tour. Our players always enjoy coming to Malaysia and we look forward to another memorable CIMB Classic.
“We are pleased to announce Pat Perez will return to defend his title and we will unveil other leading names over the coming weeks. Our tournament here has been headlined by proven champions and rising stars over the years and I’m convinced golf fans in Malaysia will have another wonderful experience when they visit TPC Kuala Lumpur in October. Apart from world-class golf, we will offer engaging activities for everyone in the family to enjoy themselves beyond the golf action.”