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 US$2.75 million.
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.”