05  April 2011  - 10:09
Maybank Malaysian Open 2011: Extraordinary Champions Line Up
  • Four Major winners: World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, Todd Hamilton, Louis Oosthuizen and Michael Campbell
  • Maybank announces four wildcard entries: Boonchu Ruangkit, Joakim Haeggman, Matthew Nixon and Alexandre Kaleka
  • Event promoter GlobalOne announces Malaysian player for final spot to make up the 22 local playing field – Shaifubari Muda

Kuala Lumpur, 4 April 2011 – The 50th edition of the Malaysian Open will witness the most impressive field of champions that will compete from the 14-17 April at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. This year’s edition has received numerous entries from world renowned golfers and due to the overwhelming response, audiences are in for a treat as they watch the top players from both the European and Asian Tours battle it out for a cool USD2.5 million prize purse.

Entries for the Maybank Malaysian Open closed on the 31st of March 2011 and the tournament has received confirmation from four Major Champions; these are World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, 2004 Open Championship winner Todd Hamilton, 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen and 2005 US Open Championship winner Michael Campbell. Other names that have confirmed their participation this year include Matteo Manassero, John Parry, Andrew Dodt, Soren Kjeldsen, Pablo Martin, Rhys Davies, Thongchai Jaidee, Noh Seung-yul, and Marcus Fraser to name a few.

In addition to these, Maybank also announced the inclusion of four wildcard picks - Joakim Haeggman, Matthew Nixon and Alexandre Kaleka from The European Tour; and Asian Tour’s Boonchu Ruangkit – who will join the battle on the greens of the 50th Edition of the Malaysian Open.

“Golf has grown at a phenomenal rate in Malaysia over the past half century – and indeed since the historic 1999 Malaysian Open which was the first co-sanctioned tournament between The European Tour and the Asian Tour – so it is always with great pleasure that our Members return to this enchanting country to help further this development while testing their own games. The strength of the field which will assemble at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country in two weeks time is testament to the stature of the tournament and the eventual winner will join an illustrious Roll of Honour,” said George O’Grady CBE, Chief Executive of The European Tour.

Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour, said: “The Maybank Malaysian Open will showcase the elite players from the Asian Tour taking on their counterparts from The European Tour. Over the years, our highly talented members have enjoyed great success in Malaysia and used the prestigious championship to propel their careers to greater heights. We look forward to the 50th edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open which no doubt will be the best ever yet in its history judging from the line-up of world-class players from Asia and internationally.”

The quality of the field is also a rare one as some of the world’s best players gather in one location for a rarely seen competitive field of play. The inclusion of the wild card picks by Maybank only enhances this further.

On the wildcard selections, Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, Chairman of Maybank said, “We feel that these four fine professionals deserve the chance based on past and recent performances. Age is no factor. In fact with age comes experience and these players might even surprise audiences at the Malaysian Open and emerge as the champion. Also, over the past 50 years, the Malaysian Open has nurtured and grown individual talents, who have gone on to greater heights. This year, the strong line-up of players, will improve motivation amongst all players and audiences will definitely get to witness a fantastic golf spectacle at the 50th edition of the Malaysian Open.”

Highest Number of Malaysian Players

Event promoters, GlobalOne today also announced their final pick for the 22 slots allocated for Malaysian golfers. Shaifubari Muda claimed the last berth via GlobalOne’s sponsor invitation.

“It took a lot of brainstorming and analysis to choose the final Malaysian golfer to be given the chance to participate at the Malaysian Open. Rankings and their contributions to the local golf industry was taken under consideration and we feel Shaifubari is the best choice. Shaifubari who is currently ranked in the Top 15 on the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia’s (PGAM) Order of Merit deserves a chance to show what he is made off. With 22 local playing professionals on the field, Malaysia may see one local player crowned as the winner this year,” said John Eu, CEO of GlobalOne.

Shaifubari’s recent performance on the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia Tour saw a very promising future in the 38-year old’s career. This will be Shaifubari’s 11th appearance at the Malaysian Open.

Mohd Firuz Jaffril, President of Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM) echoed John Eu’s sentiments and added, “Shaifubari is a promising player and has shown signs of improvements over the years. We have a lot of great local players on tour and it would have been a grueling task to choose from our local’s finest. But at the end of the day, all of our local professionals participating in the Maybank Malaysian Open have only one goal in mind, which is to win and simultaneously emerge as the first ever Malaysian winner of the National Open.”

The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) also welcomed the announcement of Shaifubahari as the final Malaysian chosen to represent Malaysia at the Maybank Malaysian Open. MGA President Datuk Robin Loh said, “We are really looking forward to a fantastic tournament to mark the 50th edition of the Malaysian Open and fervently hope that one of our players will take home the trophy.”

On-going Support For Most Prestigious Tournament

Maybank today also announced the continued support of returning official sponsors – Ricoh, Emirates, Carlsberg, Maxis and Astro. Continued partnership from official suppliers and partners – Crestlink, Spritzer, Singleton, Hyundai, Havana Club, ParGolf Magazine, Expatriate Lifestyle, Walton, 100Plus, Double Tree Hilton and Kenwood – were also recognized, marking the continued support of these world class brands of Malaysia’s premier golfing event.

“What better way to celebrate the 50th edition of the Malaysian Open, then to have the continued support of our main sponsors. With partnership such as this, the event is just going to get bigger and better,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor.

This year, the tournament reaches a milestone as it celebrates its 50th edition as some of the world’s best golfers gather to compete at the renowned Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club from the 14th to 17th April 2011.

Making history as the first ever co-sanctioned tournament in Asia by both the European and Asian Tours in 1999, the Maybank Malaysian Open 2011 will feature top players from the rankings of both these world-leading circuits to make up the 156-player line-up.

Points earned at the Maybank Malaysian Open 2011 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.

The 50th edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open will see a dazzling display of golf as our Malaysian professionals compete with some of the world’s best players for the championship title. With a USD 2.5 million prize purse up on offer, spectators can expect an exciting tournament this April. The four-day co-sanctioned event will take place at the West Course of the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from 14th - 17th April 2011.