Kuala Lumpur, September 28: Thomas Bjørn and Arjun Atwal have been announced as respective captains of Team Europe and Team Asia when the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM returns to Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from January 12 to 14, 2018.
The third staging of the biennial tournament, which has been hosted at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in 2014 and 2016, will see the 12-man teams contest six fourball matches on Friday and six foursomes matches on Saturday, before 12 singles matches determine the winning team on Sunday. Europe went on to record a comprehensive 18½-5½ win in the last edition of the tournament in 2016, lifting the trophy outright for the first time after the inaugural event, featuring ten-man teams, ended in a 10-10 tie in 2014.
For Bjørn, it will be his first captaincy assignment since taking the helm of Continental Europe in the 2009 Seve Trophy and will provide perfect preparation for the Dane ahead of The 2018 Ryder Cup in France in September. For Atwal, it will be his first time in the captaincy role.
Bjørn said: “I am delighted and honoured to be the captain of the European EurAsia Cup team and I am very much looking forward to the challenge that will await us in January from what I am sure will be a strong Asian team on home soil.
“I was lucky enough to be a member of the European Team for the first EurAsia Cup in 2014 and I have seen the event grow and develop since then. We have some of the best golfers in the world in Europe and I am relishing the opportunity to work closely with them as individuals and as a team to try and ensure we keep the trophy in European hands.”
The same feeling of excitement is echoed by Atwal, an eight-time Asian Tour champion, three-time European Tour winner and a winner on the PGA Tour, as he looks to showcase the strength of Asian golf as his team chases a maiden win at the EurAsia Cup.
The 44-year-old, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003, said: “I am proud to captain Team Asia in this very special event. I expect to lead a strong and confident team against Europe so I’ll do my best to inspire Team Asia.
“With a long personal association with Malaysia, I would like to thank the Government of Malaysia, DRB-HICOM and Tun Ahmad Sarji for their continued support of the EurAsia Cup. I am really looking forward to the event in January and hope that the Malaysian public will come out in full force to support Team Asia!”
DRB-HICOM, one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates involved in the automotive, services and property sectors, will again be a presenting partner of the tournament in 2018, as the company looks to continue making a significant mark in the world of golf through its involvement with the EurAsia Cup.
Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM, said: “The DRB-HICOM Group is proud to be associated with the EurAsia Cup as the presenting sponsor for the third edition. The event was a huge success in 2014 and 2016 and I’m confident we will witness another great battle between Team Asia and Team Europe in 2018.
“The global appeal of the EurAsia Cup has given DRB-HICOM the opportunity to promote our properties and services through the extensive television, digital and written coverage. We are proud to showcase sports tourism in Malaysia through the EurAsia Cup and also place the country at the forefront of sporting excellence.”
The EurAsia Cup will also see MMC Corporation Berhad, Malaysia’s leading utilities and infrastructure Group as one of the sponsors for its 2018 tournament.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the third staging of the EurAsia Cup today, an event which is growing in stature and one which players from both sides very much look forward to. Having worked closely with Thomas Bjørn since I took office, I have seen his passion and commitment to Europe and our Tour at first hand and I know he will be an excellent captain as we defend the trophy.
“The EurAsia Cup is a perfect example of the close working relationship we have with the Asian Tour through our Strategic Alliance and we are delighted to see it go from strength to strength. We extend our thanks to the Government of Malaysia, to our presenting partner DRB-HICOM and to Professional Golf of Malaysia for their vision and commitment, and to everyone at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, not just for their hard work but also the warmth of their traditional Malaysian welcome, which everyone who travels from Europe very much appreciates.”
Josh Burack, Chief Executive of the Asian Tour, said: “The last two editions of the EurAsia Cup have been very successful on all fronts. I am sure golf fans around the world are excited to watch Team Asia battle against Team Europe in January. I am confident our captain Arjun Atwal will lead Team Asia with honour as the team strives for their first victory in this mega event.
“The three-day match-play format is very exciting for the viewers and the players themselves. We would like to sincerely thank the Malaysian Government for their tremendous support and vision to stage the EurAsia Cup in their beautiful country for a third time.
“Our gratitude also goes out to our local organising partner Professional Golf Malaysia and DRB-HICOM who will continue to be the presenting sponsor for the third edition. Without the support of these three parties, this spectacular tournament would not be possible.”
Tun Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, PGM, added: “On behalf of Professional Golf Malaysia, it gives me great pleasure to be a part of the formal announcement of the 2018 edition of the EurAsia Cup, which will be hosted at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.
“The first two editions of the tournament have provided significant global media exposure for Malaysia and been a cornerstone of the development of the local professional game resulting in two male Malaysian golfers qualifying on merit for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“My thanks go to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, DRB-HICOM and MMC Corporation Berhad for their committed support of the EurAsia Cup. I would also like to recognise the special relationship Professional Golf Malaysia has nurtured with both the European Tour and the Asian Tour.
“Alongside the other key stakeholders, I will look forward to welcoming everyone to Malaysia in January 2018 and where I am confident the Malaysian public will look forward to another world class spectacle of match play golf.”
QUALIFICATION CRITERIA – TEAM EUROPE
The European Team competing in the 2018 EurAsia Cup shall comprise the following European Tour Members:-
(a) The leading ten available European Members from the final 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings.
(b) The Captain, Thomas Bjørn, will choose the remaining two European Members in the week commencing Monday 20 November 2017.
QUALIFICATION CRITERIA – TEAM ASIA
The Asian Team competing in the 2018 EurAsia Cup shall comprise the following Asian Tour Members:-
(a) Top four available players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit as at 27 November.
(b) Top four available players from the Official World Golf Rankings as at 27 November.
(c) The Captain, Arjun Atwal, will choose the remaining four Asian Members in the week commencing Monday 27 November.
DRB-HICOM Berhad (“DRB-HICOM”) is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core businesses in the Automotive, Services & Education, as well as Property sectors. With more than 90 active companies in its stable and over 59,000 employees group-wide, DRB-HICOM’s aim is to continue adding value and propelling the nation’s development. In the Automotive sector, DRB-HICOM is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including the national motorcycle. In Services & Education, DRB-HICOM is involved in various businesses, including concession and financial-related services. In Property, DRB-HICOM is involved in residential and commercial developments.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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About the European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the European Tour International Schedule features a minimum of 47 tournaments in 26 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai. Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2016 went to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson for the second time, and which since 2009 has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, as well as by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald. Formerly known as the Order of Merit, points are accumulated based on prize money won, with the top 10 ranked players at the end of the season sharing a $5million Race to Dubai bonus pool. Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 26 Members celebrate a total of 52 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour. The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which featured 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup. The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About MMC Corporation Berhad
MMC Corporation Berhad (MMC) is a leading utilities and infrastructure group with diversified businesses under three divisions, namely ports & logistics, energy & utilities and engineering & construction. Its key businesses under the Ports and Logistics division include the operations of Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd, Johor Port Berhad, Northport (Malaysia) Bhd, Penang Port Sdn Bhd, Kontena Nasional Berhad and JP Logistics. Internationally, MMC has an associate stake in Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company Limited, a container port terminal within the Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia. Under the Energy & Utilities division, MMC is the single largest shareholder of both Malakoff Corporation Berhad and Gas Malaysia Berhad. MMC’s Engineering & Construction division has further established itself in the sector with a leading role as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) and underground works package contractor for the 51km Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project (Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line) and Line 2 project (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line). Prior to this, MMC has successfully completed the 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar Electrified Double Tracking Project as well as the innovative Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) motorway, the first-of-its-kind dual-purpose tunnel in the world. MMC continues to make inroads in the construction industry, securing key civil and infrastructure projects in the country namely Langat Centralised Sewerage Treatment Plant, Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant, civil and infrastructure works for RAPID Pengerang Cogeneration Plant. Additionally, MMC has a 20% effective interest in Borneo Highway PDP Sdn Bhd (BHP) which has been appointed as PDP for the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway Project. In other businesses, MMC owns Aliran Ihsan Resources Berhad, a water treatment plant operator and Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, the operator of Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru; a major aviation hub and the main air transportation gateway to Iskandar Malaysia. Additionally, MMC’s Group Property arm manages close to 6,000 acres of industrial developments in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor and Kulim, Kedah, namely Senai Airport City, Tanjung Bin Petrochemical & Maritime Industrial Centre (TBPMIC) and Northern Technocity in Kulim. The Senai Airport City, TBPMIC and NTC (NTC) developments come under the ambit of Group Property’s three operating companies – Senai Airport City Sdn Bhd, Seaport Worldwide Sdn Bhd and Northern Technocity Sdn Bhd respectively
Sentosa, Singapore, September 25: South African Louis Oosthuizen, hungry for victory following so many near finishes, will compete in next year’s SMBC Singapore Open, organisers announced today.
The 2010 Open Championship winner, runner-up when he last played in Singapore and with a record haul of second placings in Major championships, is the latest star golfer to confirm for the tournament after it was recently unveiled that reigning US Masters champion Sergio Garcia from Spain will compete.
The US$1 million tournament will be played on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club from January 18 to 21, and will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation. It will form the opening event of the season on both Tours.
In August, Oosthuizen made headlines after finishing joint second in the US PGA Championship – giving him the distinction of finishing runner-up in all four Majors.
He is only the seventh golfer to accomplish this feat, joining Craig Wood, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson.
His record of runner-up finishes are: the 2012 US Masters, where he lost in a sudden death play-off, the 2015 U.S. Open, the 2015 Open Championship where he was defeated in a four-hole aggregate playoff, and this year’s PGA Championship.
Indeed, by his own admission he will be a driven man when he returns to Singapore as when he last played here in 2012 he narrowly lost out in a play-off to Italy’s Matteo Manassero.
Manassero prevailed in a gripping sudden-death play-off after he eagled the third play-off hole (the Serapong’s par-five 18). Oosthuizen had missed a five-foot birdie putt on the same hole to win on second extra-hole.
A year earlier, the South African claimed third place at Sentosa, having just missed out on a play-off by a shot.
“You could say I have some unfinished business in Singapore,” said Oosthuizen.
“I am really looking forward to getting back there and playing in the SMBC Singapore Open. It will be the perfect way for me to start the season, on a great golf course, where I have great memories and where I know I can win.”
The South African is an eight-time winner on the European Tour – including the 2012 Malaysian Open – and in South Africa he has triumphed on seven occasions.
“I am really focused on winning titles and competing week in and week out and in 2018 that hopefully means starting with the SMBC Singapore Open!” added the 34-year-old.
He was recently selected to represent the International team in this month’s Presidents Cup – an event he also played in 2013 and 2015.
Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng won last year’s SMBC Singapore Open, in what was the 51st edition of the prestigious tournament.