13-strong local line-up at Maybank Championship

Shahriffuddin Ariffin ©Mike Casper|TheClubHouse

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s representation in this year’s Maybank Championship appears to be as good as it has ever with a 13-strong Malaysian contingent named for the US$3 million tournament.

Aside from the country’s top ranked player and Maybank ASEAN ambassador Gavin Kyle Green, two other local pros namely Ben Leong and Nicholas Fung are in the line-up by virtue of their efforts on the Asian Tour.

The other home stars selected are Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour Player of the Year Shahriffuddin Ariffin, Danny Chia, Amir Nazrin Jailani, Sukree Othman, Jeremiah Kim Leun Kwang, Arie Irawan, Nachimuthu Ramasamy, Wilson Choo, Kenneth De Silva and Kemarol Baharin, who all qualified through the local rankings.

“The Maybank Championship is a unique tournament, truly one ‘Where the Best Meet’. While it features the top 60 from each of the European and Asian Tours, and 15 from the world’s top 150, we have never neglected our commitment to support and develop local players.

Hence, we have set aside places for the top 10 Malaysian golfers – so that they too can have the exposure of playing in a world class event,” said Maybank director Datuk R Karunakaran.

For Green, the Maybank Championship will present a good opportunity to make impact not only on his endeavours on the Europe Tour, but also the domestic game.

A lot will also be expected from Leong and Fung – both winners on the Asian Tour. The former played alongside Green in the World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, while Fung is generally regarded as among the most consistent of Malaysia’s players on the regional circuit.

Shahriffuddin who retained the PGM Tour Order of Merit title for a second successive in 2018 – is another one to watch at Saujana.

“Our Maybank Championship events in the past three years have given us a new and unexpected winner each year. While we do not know if it will happen again this year, what I can assure you is that the 2019 tournament will continue to be as thrilling, or even more so – not only based on the players who have confirmed, and the activities planned, but also because the Palm Course is in great shape after its refurbishment. Saujana is well known for being a challenging course, so the revamped greens will surely add to the excitement,” added Karunakaran.

The Maybank Championship, which has become Malaysia’s premier golf tournament, is set to announce a few other star attractions soon.