Maybank today revealed the first confirmed International Championship Star player for the Maybank Championship 2018 event, Henrik Stenson. Currently ranked as the world’s No. 9, Stenson bears among his many distinctions the reputation of being the only professional golfer to have won both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same year, while his Open Championship victory in 2016 was regarded as one of the finest and most exciting display seen on last day of any major championship.
He will compete with 155 of the most talented and leading golfers from around the world for the prize purse of USD 3 million at Saujana Golf & Country Club on 1st to 4th February 2018.
The Maybank Championship 2018 is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour, a long-standing partnership which will see the best players from both Tours compete in the tournament.
The event is endorsed by the Sports Commissioner of Malaysia, supported by professional golfing bodies across the region and will once again provide a significant platform for players looking to gain valuable experience and Official World Golf Ranking points.
“We are delighted to welcome Henrik Stenson to Maybank Championship 2018, ASEAN’s leading home-grown international golfing experience. As one of the most respected, anticipated, and richest co-sanctioned tournaments in the ASEAN region, the Maybank Championship is a valuable platform for this established champion to make his mark on. Having Stenson with us will definitely create opportunities for rising tour professionals across ASEAN, as well as the ten top Malaysian golfers from the local Tour, to experience true competition with one of the world’s best golfers,” said Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Group President and CEO of Maybank.
For the third edition of the Maybank Championship, the event will once again further its efforts at expanding the appeal of golf to a wider pool of fans; enhancing the sensory experience of visitors to the event; and ensuring a wider variety of ways that Maybank and the tournament are able to bring the sport to life for guests through experiential elements on site.
The 41 year-old Henrik Stenson turned professional 18 years ago in 1999. Ranked No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking, this Swedish golfer did not start playing golf until he was 12 years old.
Five years before turning pro, he was picked to play on the Swedish boys’ team and set his sights on the bigger goal that he eventually succeeded at; to be selected for the Boys’ World Amateur Championship that would take place in Japan later that year. In 1996, Stenson won the Peugeot Amateur Classic in France. As Peugeot also sponsored the French and the Spanish Open that year, he obtained two wild card entries to those European Tour Tournaments, where he made his debut on the Tour as an amateur.
Since 2000, he has won 13 International Victories including the 2000 Gula Sidoma Grand Prix (EurChall); 2007 Dubai Desert Classic (Eur); 2012 South African Open (Eur); 2014 DP World Tour Championship (Eur); and the 2016 BMW International Open (Eur). Out of the 47 events he has played throughout his career, Stenson has achieved six PGA Tour Victories inclusive of THE PLAYERS Championship in 2009, the Open Championship in 2016 and most recently, the Wyndham Championship (2017).
This self-proclaimed practical joker has described his golf style as a mix between aggressive and smart. In 2013, Stenson won the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai, the only golfer to have won both tournaments in the same year. He also represented Sweden in 2016’s summer Olympics in Rio where he won the Silver medal.
Not only that, his Open Championship victory in 2016 over Phil Michelson was regarded as amongst the finest moments in the history of major championship golf and has been compared with the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson at the 1977 British Open at Ailsa Course at Turnberry.
His Wyndham Championship in August this year reinforced what a force to be reckoned with Stenson is. Stenson is currently ranked at No. 11 for European Tour’s Race to Dubai tournament with his points tallied at 1, 763, 945 – only 60,000 points behind the 10th place golfer Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland.