17 January 2011

Maybank Malaysian Open 2011


Maybank has confirmed its commitment for another five years as the title sponsor of the Malaysian Open, increasing the tournament's prize purse to US$2.5 million at the same time.

Young sensations Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel from South Africa and Rory McIlroy from Ireland, aare expected to lead the 2011 field of players in the 156 player this April 14th to 17th at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (West Course).

On the star players, Tan Sri Dato' Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor Chairman of Maybank said: “We are thrilled to welcome Oosthuizen, Schwartzel and McIlroy to the 50th edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open. This is the first time in the Malaysian Open history a newly crowned Open Championship winner will be participating in our tournament. I believe that the appearance displayed by these three rising stars will attract more fans to the sport, especially after witnessing their superb sportsmanship."

The Malaysian Golf Association ("MGA") welcomed the announcement of the sponsorship renewal, acknowledging that the Maybank Malaysian Open is the jewel in the crown of Malaysia professional golf.

"The Maybank Malaysian Open has been instrumental in cultivating and supporting local talent over the years, giving them to opportunity to hone their skills on an international platform against some of the biggest names in the golfing world. Looking back 50 years, golf has truly come a long way in Malaysia. With tournaments like the Maybank Malaysian Open spurring on our local professionals, giving them priority and ensuring that their needs are taken care of, we are optimistic that a Malaysian golfer will one day represent our country in the Olympics," said MGA President Datuk Robin Loh.

Points earned by the players will go towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and will also add to the player's 2011 Race to Dubai Ranking, granting them a chance to qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

Past Malaysian Open has seen the likes of Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen, Michael Campbell, Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo making waves on its courses over the years. In 2010, this prestigious event was won by 19-year old Korean sensation Noh Seung-Yul who then went on to become Asian Tour's number one player.

In addition to the series of announcements, Maybank also revealed the appointment of local heroes Danny Chia and Mohd Shaaban Hussin as the Ambassadors of the Maybank Malaysian Open 2011. "Our support for Malaysian golfers stretches from developing youth through our Junior Development Programme, to Malaysian professionals. This year will see the number of Malaysians in the field increase from 17 to 22 golfers. I am also pleased that this year, we will sponsor two Malaysian golfers - Danny Chia and Shaaban Hussin. It is our intention to help some of those affected by our support to realize their potential and hopefully become international champions," said Tan Sri Dato' Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor.

"Danny made history by becoming the first Malaysian to win an Asian Tour event when he won the Taiwan Open in 2002. He also qualified for the third time to play in the British Open, becoming the first Malaysian to play in all four rounds at the British Open at St Andrews, the oldest major in the world," added Tan Sri Dato' Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor. "Shaaban, who turned pro in 2003, proved himself a talent to watch when he beat over 100 local professionals to qualify for the inaugural PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Malaysia last year. He has the makings of a great player."

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