World No. 3 Matsuyama joins starry field at next week’s CIMB Classic
Kuala Lumpur: World No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama has committed to play in the CIMB Classic next week, ensuring for the first time two top-5 golfers from the Official World Golf Ranking headlining the USD7 million PGA TOUR tournament in Malaysia.
With two-time defending champion and world No. 4 Justin Thomas, who is also the newly crowned FedExCup champion having confirmed his title defence earlier, Matsuyama’s fifth straight appearance in the PGA TOUR’s only tournament in Southeast Asia will ensure plenty of fireworks for golf fans to enjoy at TPC Kuala Lumpur from October 12-15.
The 25-year-old Matsuyama has been one of the top performers on the global stage where he has won six times over the past 12 months, including two World Golf Championships tournaments, as well as posting two top-fives in the majors at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship this season.
Matsuyama featured in his first CIMB Classic in 2013 on a sponsor’s invitation and had come close to winning where he finished T5 in 2015 and second last year behind Thomas.
Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Hideki Matsuyama back to the CIMB Classic. Since playing in our event as a sponsor’s exemption in 2013, Hideki’s career has been on a sharp rise with multiple victories achieved on the PGA TOUR and at home in Japan over the past year.
“Golf fans will be in for a world-class treat as Hideki has an impressive track record at TPC Kuala Lumpur which clearly suits his game. It’ll be fun to see if he can deny Justin Thomas a third successive victory at the CIMB Classic. Their presence is a huge boost as it will mean our tournament will feature two golf stars from the world’s top-5 for the first time since our inauguration in 2010.”
Next week’s CIMB Classic will include nine Major champions, 10 Presidents Cup team members, 15 players from the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking and 18 winners from the recent PGA TOUR’s 2016-17 season.
The major winners who have committed to the eighth edition of the CIMB Classic include Americans Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Lucas Glover, Davis Love III, South African stars Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel and of course, Thomas, who has enjoyed an outstanding season with five victories including a first major win at the PGA Championship in August and the FedExCup which saw him earn a bonus of USD10 million payout two weeks ago.
Other leading names heading to Kuala Lumpur include world No. 15 Paul Casey of England, 19th-ranked Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain, Europe’s Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter, 2011 Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel, this season’s THE PLAYERS Championship winner Si Woo Kim of South Korea and South African star Branden Grace, who wrote golfing history at the British Open by becoming the first man to shoot a 62 in a major in July.
Advance tickets for the CIMB Classic are now on sale on www.ticketpro.com.my, Ticket Pro sales channels and selected MST Golf Stores in the Klang Valley. Fans who purchase tickets from now until October 8 will enjoy early bird pricing, with tickets costing RM62 each for the first round (Oct 12, Thursday) and second round (Oct 13, Friday). Prices for the third round (Oct 14, Saturday) and final round (Oct 15, Sunday) are RM99 per day. A season ticket for all four rounds are priced at RM199.
The CIMB Classic is also sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM). The premier Malaysian tournament is also the first of three PGA TOUR events in Asia during the month of October.