25 August 2011



KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 24, 2011): Sime Darby Berhad and event organisers IMG are delighted to announce the return of international superstars, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, to this year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011.

The two top-flight Americans will compete against several other high ranking female golfers at the prestigious
Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from Oct 13-16 2011.

Kerr, a well-known figure on the LPGA Tour since her debut in 1997, is currently ranked second in the Women’s World Golf Rankings (as of Aug 8 2011), the highest among American lady golfers. 

With a remarkable 14 LPGA victories already to her name, she hit the top of the Women's World Golf Rankings in June last year after winning two of the first 10 tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including the LPGA Championship. She won by a recordbreaking 12-stroke margin over the second-place finisher Song-Hee Kim.

“I am extremely pleased to confirm that I will once again be playing in Malaysia in October. I had a pretty good tournament last year but will definitely be looking to improve this year. I was particularly moved by the tournament’s association with the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) charity and its support of breast cancer awareness. This is a cause that is particularly close to my heart and one which I am always keen to support whenever I can,” said Kerr.

Meanwhile Wie, who turned professional in 2005, has two professional titles to her name to date. In 2006, she became the first female medalist in a US Open qualifying tournament at Turtle Bay, Hawaii at the age of 16. She has since moved up the rankings table, amassing close to US$4 million in career prize money.

She said, “I am really looking forward to be back in Malaysia this year. I felt so welcome last year when I arrived for the tournament, and I am honoured to be the honorary member of KLGCC and to stay in one of Sime Darby Property’s homes at Turnberry Villas during the tournament. They are breath-taking homes and made me feel so comfortable. Last year’s tournament was very exciting and I hope I can be at the top of the leader board on the final day. ”

This year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia promises to offer an even greater showcase, with an increase in prize purse, field size and number of playing days on the cards come October. The 2011 tournament will now feature the top 62 LPGA members from the LPGA Tour Official Money List, along with 10 sponsors’ invites. The four-day stroke play event with no cut will ensure that players are in Kuala Lumpur for the tournament duration and the local and regional golf community can catch their favourite golfers in action the entire week.

“With 9 out of 10 of the top women players’ (from the Rolex Money List) participation last year, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2010 has created a benchmark in women’s golf in the region. 

“This year, we are delighted that the tournament continues to attract world ranking players such as Michelle and Cristie. The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is a world-class golf tournament and bringing in the best players every year is an important part of maintaining that status,” said Dato’ Wahab Maskan, Group Chief Operating Officer of Sime Darby Berhad and Managing Director of Sime Darby Property.

Sime Darby recently confirmed that another American, Paula Creamer, will compete in this this year’s tournament alongside two Malaysian golfers, Kelly Tan and Jean Chua, who will receive two of the sponsors’ invites for the 2011 Championship.

Creamer, who was unable to attend last year’s event due to an injury, is hoping to make her mark in this year’s tournament. Rising star Kelly finished at a commendable 32nd placing, becoming the leading local player in last year’s inaugural Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, while Jean Chua recently played in the US Open 2011.

“The return of Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie to the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011, alongside fellow American Paula Creamer, is fantastic news for this year’s tournament. Last year’s event proved that Malaysia is an ideal host for world-class golf events and the fans should prepare for a tremendous weekend of golfing action as we welcome an array of talent amongst this year’s line-up,” said Robbie Henchman, Senior Vice President, Global Co-Managing Director, IMG Golf.

Sime Darby will also be running a qualifying session where two girls from Malaysia and two from Asia will be able to qualify for this prestigious tournament. The competition takes place on the 6th and 7th of September and will be played over 36 holes of scintillating golf. The tournament is open to all female professional or amateur golfers with a handicap of 2.0 or less. The two Malaysian players and the two Regional players with the lowest score over the two days will get invitations to play in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011. 

The qualifying tournament attracts players from the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

For more information, please visit www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com

Omega European Masters



Kuala Lumpur, August 25: Asian Tour honorary member Jeev Milkha Singh of India will bring a big dose of confidence and form into the Omega European Masters next week.

Singh, Asia’s number one in 2006 and 2008, has produced some of his best golf recently with three solid results in his last three tournaments and he will be eyeing another stellar run at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club from September 1 to 4.

In recent years, the Indian star has struggled with injuries but is showing glimpses of his best form which earned him two Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns.

This season, he has notched two top-10s on the European Tour with his best finish being tied sixth at the Nordea Masters last month. Singh has won numerous titles on the Asian, Japan and European Tours and will be determined to end a three-year title drought next week.

“The tied-sixth place was only my second top-10 of the season and my best result in a long, long time but I do feel that I am getting closer and closer to the form that should give me the desired results,” said Singh in his latest blog.

His title ambition will be tested against a strong line-up of stars including new Major winners Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and world number two Lee Westwood of England at the €2,000,000 (approximately US$2.6 million) event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Japanese ace Tetsuji Hiratsuka, who won three titles on the Asian Tour last year, S.S.P. Chowrasia of India, currently leading the Order of Merit and rising star Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea will also feature in the Omega event.

Thailand will be represented by no fewer than six players including Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant, Udorn Duangdecha, Pariya Junhasavasdikul, Chinnarat Phadungsil and Chapchai Nirat, who have a combined total of 33 Asian Tour victories.

After a sensational season last year, Hiratsuka will make his debut at the Omega European Masters where he will be hoping to eclipse the elite cast gathered at the stunning Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.

He has two top-10s in Japan this year and has yet to miss the halfway cut on the Asian Tour. His experience of playing in the British Open will also be put to good use next week.

Chinnarat, the youngest player to win on the Asian Tour at 17 years and five days in 2005 while he was still an amateur, is one of the most consistent players this season. He has made seven consecutive cuts on the Asian Tour, highlighted by the two top-10s. He will be upbeat of carding a solid result in his third appearance at the Omega European Masters.

The Omega European Masters is the first event in Europe to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour in 2009.