The PGA Championship of Malaysia, a storied tournament boasting esteemed winners such as Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Sweden’s Daniel Chopra, will be played from September 13 to 16 this year under the OneAsia umbrella as part of a three-year deal with the Professional Golfers’ Association of Malaysia (PGAM).
The tournament has provided a launch pad for many great players with multiple Major winner Singh claiming the title in 1984 and Chopra — who has won twice on the U.S. PGA Tour — lifting the trophy 10 years later.
“The PGA Championship of Malaysia has a great history and the original trophy was donated by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tuanku Abdul Rahman,” said Mohd Firuz Jaffril, President of the Association. “It is therefore only fitting the PGA Championship of Malaysia takes its place as a major international event.”
Jaffril said the PGAM had made no secret of its desire to lift the profile of the tournament to its former glory, while boosting the development of golf in Malaysia at the same time.
“The association has worked hard to find new and improved avenues for its members to enhance their careers and when the opportunity for this event to join OneAsia arose, the members were unanimous in their support,” he said.
Promoters World Sport Group are working to finalize a venue for the tournament, with a wealth of leading golf clubs keen on being host.
“For Malaysia to have a new tournament of this calibre is an exciting breakthrough for golf in our country,” said Danny Chia, the country’s top golfer.
“It is a fresh opportunity for Malaysian professionals to compete at the highest level, and the fact that it is a three year arrangement makes it even more important.”
The tournament will be the first OneAsia has staged in Malaysia, but one of 14 events on a busy 2012 schedule boasting a total prize fund of over US$16 million, making it Asia’s most lucrative regional tour. The country has, however, already played an important role for OneAsia as it hosted this year’s qualifying school at Sutera Harbour Golf Country Club in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The PGA Championship of Malaysia will sit alongside many of the region’s premier golf tournaments — including the national Opens of Australia, China, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand.
“The PGAM has watched the rise of OneAsia over a short span, and with its founding partners representing the biggest economies in Asia it made sense to be a part of that growth and to promote Malaysia and Malaysian golf to those markets as well,” said Jaffril.
OneAsia’s season tees off on March 22 with the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open at Emeralda Golf and Country Club, south of the capital, with Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant defending his title against a field that includes a slew of top Japanese players as the event is co-sanctioned this year by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) as part of a three-year agreement that also inflates the world ranking points available.
OneAsia also co-sanctions the Volvo China Open with the European tour.
“World Sport Group are delighted to be able to assist in bringing a new event onto OneAsia. The PGA Championship of Malaysia is an established and respected event and we thank the PGAM for their support,” said Chris Jordan, Senior Vice President, Golf, World Sport Group.
The PGA Championship of Malaysia will be showcased live for all four days on ESPN Star Sports and OneAsia’s other global broadcasters.