CIMB Classic ends nine-year run

The CIMB Classic offered the biggest prize purse in Southeast Asia during its nine-year run

KUALA LUMPUR: The CIMB Classic will join the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in the out-of-bounds as another major professional golf event falls by the wayside in new Malaysia.

Despite nine successful editions, Southeast Asia’s sole PGA Tour event will not go ahead next year as confirmed by PGA Tour International Malaysia vice president and executive director Todd Rhinehart in a statement on Tuesday.

“Today, I write to inform all of you that we have decided to bid farewell to the CIMB Classic. We have been engaged with CIMB after this year’s CIMB Classic and together we have decided to evolve the partnership between our organisations into a different form.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for all the support, contribution and cooperation in making the CIMB Classic a success over the last nine years,” he said.

Inaugurated in 2010, the tournament has seen over US$60 million being paid out in total prize money with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson, and Bubba Watson having graced the prestigious tournament.

Malaysia’s loss looks likely to be Japan’s gain – with the PGA Tour announcing a six-year deal to host an official tournament in one of the world’s largest golf markets beginning next year.

The newly-inaugurated US$9.75 million Zozo Championship will be played from October 24-27 at Narashino Country Club in Chiba as part of the PGA Tour’s three-event Asian swing.