19 September 2016
Malaysians prep for chance to compete alongside world-class golfers, including three of the current top-5 in the FedExCup race – Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Paul Casey.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysia’s top golfer Gavin Green is hoping to secure his first appearance at the CIMB Classic, to be held this year at TPC Kuala Lumpur from 20 - 23 October. Green is competing at the SapuraKencana National Classic (“National Classic”) from 20 - 22 September alongside nearly 100 local professional golfers. The National Classic champion will earn a coveted spot in the USD7 million prize purse tournament next month.
Twenty-two year-old Green, who represented Malaysia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil has had a strong year with two victories and seven top-10s at the Asian Development Tour (“ADT”) and is currently second on the ADT Order of Merit. Green is currently ranked 259th on the Official World Golf Ranking (“OWGR”), having climbed almost 500 positions since the beginning of the year
“It has been an exciting year so far and playing in the Olympics was one of the highlights. If I can play in the CIMB Classic it will definitely be a bonus for me. With so many world ranking points on offer, I might have a chance at overtaking Danny (Chia) on the rankings,” said Green.
“There will be a strong field at the CIMB Classic again this year so it will be nice to be part of the field. But I can’t get ahead of myself. At this point, I need to focus on qualifying for the event.”
Green who finished T9 at the 2015 National Classic will face defending champion Ben Leong at TPC Kuala Lumpur this week. Leong subsequently finished T64 in his first appearance at the 2015 CIMB Classic. Both players will be gunning for a chance to compete alongside many of the world’s top golfers.
“It is an entirely differently experience playing in the CIMB Classic. You don’t get to play with the PGA TOUR players often and when you do, the experience is amazing,” said Leong. “When I played in the CIMB Classic last year, it was like a dream come true.”
As the FedExCup Playoffs wrap up this weekend at the TOUR Championship, three of the top five players in the standings heading into the final event have committed to play at this year’s CIMB Classic; Patrick Reed (2nd), Adam Scott (3rd) and Paul Casey (5th). All three are guaranteed the FedExCup this week if they can secure victory at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.
American Patrick Reed, who won The Barclays in August to take the lead in the FedExCup Playoffs followed up with T5 at the Deutsche Bank Championship and a T13 at the BMW Championship. Reed will play for the U.S. Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine National Golf Club in two weeks.
Former World No. 1 and thirteen-time PGA TOUR champion Adam Scott is a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this season. The 2013 Masters winner will be looking to close the CIMB Classic this year after a runner-up finish to Justin Thomas last year.
The third member of the FedExCup top-five trio is Englishman Paul Casey, who finished second at both the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship to vault into the FedExCup Playoffs top-five. Casey, who claimed his only PGA TOUR victory in 2009 has put together a solid season, finishing in the top-10 six times.
The CIMB Classic 2016, now in its seventh year, will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA TOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions. The PGA TOUR player commitment deadline for the tournament is 21 September 2016.
The CIMB Classic, which is also co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia is part of the PGA TOUR’s season-long FedExCup competition. Malaysia will have two representatives – the winner of the SapuraKencana National Classic and the highest ranked Malaysian golfer in the OWGR as at 11 October 2016.