Return of the Prodigal Son
Former champion Westwood to compete in Maybank Malaysian Open 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Feb 12, 2014: England’s Lee Westwood, who stunned the golf world when he won the Malaysian Open in 1997, has confirmed his entry for the Maybank Malaysian Open 2014.
Westwood, a former world number one, who has won titles on every major continent since turning professional in 1993, is title sponsor Maybank’s first confirmed Star Player.
Other big names will be announced shortly, as the excitement for one of Asia’s leading national opens heats up.
The Malaysian Open has always attracted high-calibre golfers from around the world including Major winners such as Louis Oosthuizen, who won The Open in 2010, Rory McIIroy (US Open 2011 and PGA Championship 2012), Martin Kaymer (PGA Championship 2010), Charl Schwartzel (US Masters 2011), Todd Hamilton (The Open 2004), Michael Campbell (US Open 2005), Retief Goosen (US Open 2001, 2004), Bernhard Langer (US Masters in 1985, 1993), three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington, who claimed The Open crown in 2007 and 2008 as well as the 2008 PGA Championship and Sir Nick Faldo who won six Majors – US Masters (1989, 1990, 1996) and The Open (1987, 1990, 1992).
Notable Asian players who have played in the Maybank Malaysian Open include Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Asian Tour Order Of Merit winner, last year’s Order of Merit winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Vijay Singh and South Korea’s KJ Choi, who is Asia’s most successful golfer with 20 professional wins around the world.
Westwood, McIIroy, Kaymer, Vijay, Langer, Faldo and Luke Donald are also among the world number ones who have played in the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Westwood, who last played in this tournament in 2007, has a huge following in Asia and will hope to enter the Maybank Malaysian Open 2014 as the Masters champion which will be held the weekend before.
The Maybank Malaysian Open 2014 from April 17-20 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country
Club (KLGCC) promises to be another exciting event and will offer a prize purse of
In making the Star Player announcement today, 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 in 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 Megat Zaharuddin added that “the experience of bringing in top class golfers to
the tournament shows competition to succeed heightens and the eventual winners has
sometimes been a surprise. This adds to the excitement.”
Meanwhile, Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) president Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Anwar
Mohd Nor said: “Westwood is a seasoned professional who has won countless of 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.”
Asian Tour’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Kerr said: “I’m delighted many of our top
players in the Asian Order of Merit have qualified for this prestigious event. Not only is it
one of the leading national opens, but it is also among the oldest with more than 50
years of history behind it.
“I feel our Tour is very competitive and our talented members have always been
successful in this prestigious event with the likes of Arjun Atwal, Anthony Kang,
Thongchai Jaidee, Noh Seung-yul and Kiradech Aphibarnrat winning the championship
in recent years.
“I hope we can continue this winning tradition this year.”
European Tour’s Chief Executive George O’Grady was just as enthusiastic about the Maybank Malaysian Open, saying: “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.
“Hopefully, another European Tour player can inscribe his name on winner’s trophy this year.”
The Maybank Malaysian Open was the first tournament in Asia to be co-sanctioned by The European and Asian Tours in 1999, the year Gerry Norquist took home the title.
More details and information on the 2014 Maybank Malaysian will be announced at a later date. Keep abreast with the latest news at www.maybankmalaysianopen.com and connect with us via Facebook at www.facebook.com/maybankmalaysianopen or Twitter at www.twitter.com/maybankmsiaopen