Jimenez set for Malaysian return

Miguel Angel Jimenez ©Getty
Miguel Angel Jimenez ©Getty

Kuala Lumpur: European Tour legend Miguel Angel Jimenez will make a long-awaited return to the Maybank Malaysian Open next week as players from 36 nations confirm their participation at the US$3 million showdown.

With 21 European Tour titles to his belt, the 51-year-old Spaniard will join a field bursting with proven champions including titleholder Lee Westwood, Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell, Stephen Gallacher and winning captain Paul McGinley.

This would be Jimenez’s first appearance at the national Open since 2008 and the veteran nicknamed The Mechanic is set to put on another vintage display on Malaysian soil, a year after skippering a European side at the inaugural EURASIA Cup presented by DRB Hicom here.

Also in the line-up for the tournament which tees off next Thursday at the resplendent Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club are two of this year’s winners from the European Tour – Frenchman Gary Stal, whose remarkable victory from eight shots behind is still the talk of Abu Dhabi and Danny Willett, who tops the Race to Dubai standings after his brilliant win at the South African Nedbank Golf Challenge.

On the Asian front, tournament promoters GlobalOne have also confirmed the participation of Asia’s only Major champion Y.E Yang, who will play alongside two- time Maybank Malaysian Open champion Arjun Atwal, China’s Liang Wen-Chong, Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat and bubbly Filipino Angelo Que.

Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and rising star Rashid Khan complete the representation of Indians in the field while former winners Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat will rank as early favourites alongside fellow Thais Prom Meesawat, Thaworn Wiratchant and Prayad Marksaeng.

The 54th edition of the national Open will see title sponsor Maybank celebrate its tenth year as title sponsor.