Wednesday January 9, 2013
Englishman Donald to make his Malaysian Open debut
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 2 Luke Donald will compete in the Maybank Malaysian Open for the first time – leading a glittering field of proven winners from both the European and Asian Tours to tee off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from March 21-24.
Donald, who completed an historic double when he won the PGA Tour and European Tour money list in 2011, is the first star player to have confirmed participation in the country’s showpiece golf tournament to be played at West Course.
Title sponsors Maybank also confirmed that the total prize money for the 52nd edition will rise to US$2.75mil – an increase of US$250,000 from the past two editions – thus, making it one of the richest national Opens in the region.
The early confirmation of Donald is a boost to the status of the Malaysian Open and there is a chance he may even be the world No. 1 when he comes here in March.
The 35-year-old Englishman is determined to regain his world No.1 crown from Rory McIlroy, one of his team-mates in Europe’s thrilling Ryder Cup success last year.
In making the announcement, Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor reitirated the banking powerhouse’s commitment to bringing world class golfing personalities to the tournament and Malaysia as a whole.
“Since Maybank took over the title sponsorship of the Open in 2006, we have made every effort to promote the game and enhance the prestige of the event for Malaysia,” said Megat Zaharuddin.
“We have worked to get top players to inspire our crowds and participants.
“Many have gone on to become even bigger names in golf. We have introduced Malaysians to different players to be inspired by the diversity of talent and skills on the greens.
“I am pleased to say this tradition will continue. Donald’s presence, like many other top players we have had in the past, will not only draw the crowd but also strengthen the profile of the Maybank Malaysian Open in the global golfing map.”