October 2017 – Asian Tour

The Asian Tour set to return to China with the Asian Golf Championship in Xiamen this November


Sentosa, Singapore, October 30: The Asian Tour will sanction its first event in China in nine years with the Asian Golf Championship set to make its debut at the Kaikou Golf Club in Xiamen, Fujian Province from November 30 to December 3. 

This is the first event following the historic strategic partnership signed between the Asian Tour and China Golf Association (CGA) in March.  The tournament will be promoted and operated by Beijing based promoter CGD (Beijing) Sports Industry Co., Ltd (CGDs).

With a prize purse of US$350,000, the Asian Golf Championship will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and CGA with a field breakdown of 56 Asian Tour professionals, 48 China Tour professionals and four special invitations.

The Asian Golf Championship will also welcome Rolex as the official Timekeeper for the tournament and is part of the Asian Tour’s strategic partnership with the CGA where the goal is to grow and develop professional golf in the region. 

Golfers from the China Tour will be eligible to take up associate memberships with the Asian Tour, with the top-five non-exempt players from the China Tour Order of Merit receiving spots into the Final Stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2018. 

The winner of the Asian Golf Championship will earn exemption on the Asian Tour under the winner’s category and for Chinese professionals, their earnings will count towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit and China Tour Order of Merit.

Pang Zheng, CGA Deputy Secretary General, is looking forward to the start of the Asian Golf Championship.

“The co-sanction of Asian Golf Championship is a new opportunity for both China golf and the growth of the game of golf in Asia. It will be a great tournament and a truly competitive one for golf fans to enjoy.

“I would like to thank our partners from Asian Tour, Fujian Golf Association and CGDs for putting up the golf championship together and I would like to wish all players the very best as they challenge for the title,” said Pang.

Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack hailed the return of the Asian Tour to China as he believes it is an important step forward for professional golf in China and for men’s golf across Asia as a whole.

“The launch of the Asian Golf Championship is a significant development for professional golf in Asia. Our strategic partnership with the CGA is a game changer as the creation of tournaments like the Asian Golf Championship will greatly enhance playing opportunities for the many talented players from China and the Asian Tour members who will compete against them.

“A new chapter for Asian golf is ready to be written and we look forward to the start of the Asian Golf Championship as our Asian Tour members are excited to tee off in China again,” said Burack.

China Tour-Regular Season CEO Ouyang Wen is also pleased to promote and operate the China Tour and Asian Tour co-sanctioned tournament as it represents a significant milestone for both Tours.

“This new tournament not only completes our 2017 season but also opens up the door for Chinese professional golfers as we seek a more sustainable way of cooperating with other leading international Tours.

“Thanks to the great support from CGA, Asian Tour, Fujian Golf Association, Kaikou Golf Club and all tournament sponsors, the Asian Golf Championship will attract the best players from all over the world and is set to become an iconic event in sports industry which also is a good reflection of China’s Road and Belt Initiative,” said Wen.

Ends.


Seoul, Korea, October 27: The Asian Tour has signed a new partnership with Golf Magazine Korea to widen its presence in the country which will host three Asian Tour events in 2018.

Golf Magazine Korea will join a stellar list of Regional Media Partners of the Asian Tour which includes Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Sina, Golf Digest Online Japan, Golf Digest India and GolfAsia.

Through this new partnership, Golf Magazine Korea will receive branding and hospitality opportunities at selected Asian Tour events.

This deal will also allow the Asian Tour to broaden its exposure in the Land of the Morning Calm through exclusive content in Golf Magazine Korea, and its parent company, the Seoul Economic Daily.

Josh Burack, CEO, Asian Tour said: “We are delighted to be partners with the Golf Magazine Korea, which is a highly respected and very influential golf media organization in Korea.”

“Korea is a very important market for the Asian Tour and I’m confident this partnership with Golf Magazine Korea will benefit both organisations tremendously.

Tae-kwon Song, CEO of the Golf Magazine Korea and Seoul Economic Daily said: “We are extremely pleased to be the first exclusive Korean media partner with the Asian Tour, which is one of the fastest growing golf Tour in the world.”

“This partnership will benefit both organizations as we can expect more Korean golfers to play and contend for titles on the Asian Tour. There will be more Asian Tour events staged in Korea next year so this deal comes at an appropriate time.”

Ends.

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.

Please visit us at:

www.dev-asian.ocs-software.com

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf

www.youtube.com/theasiantour

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


About Golf Magazine Korea

With the highest circulation number, Golf Magazine Korea has been the leading golf magazine in the nation since its first publication in 1999.  Besides various information and detailed columns, Golf Magazine Korea selects “Top 10 Golf Courses in Korea” biannually.  The magazine’s list of work on development of golf in Korea also includes hosting “the Amateur Golf Club Championship,” “Korea – China Amateur Golf Championship,” and “Seoul Economic Daily Membership Showcase.”


Thomas Bjørn interview transcript


Q. What does it mean to you to be selected as captain for Team Europe?


Anytime you get this bestowed on you, you have to be grateful that players want you as captain and there’s a Tour that believes that you can be captain. It is a moment of reflection on your own career. You got to realise that your golf might not be as good anymore. On the other hand it is also a sign that you have put in a lot of time in your career and in the Tour. I’m honoured and pleased to be in this situation where I can do this and it is something that I’m really looking forward to. I feel that I can get across to the senior and to the new players. I have a lot of good relationship that I feel that I can do a good captaincy that the players want.

Q. You had the chance to see the Glenmarie course, tell us a bit about it?

I was fortunate to play in this event in 2014. It is a great golf course. It is not the longest golf course in the world but it is quite tricky. It will create a nice atmosphere because you can get on a birdie run on this course. That should be fun in match play.

 

Q. How did your meeting go with the Malaysian Prime Minister?

He knows more about golf than I do so that’s a good sign! It was a fantastic honour to meet a man in that position. I think that’s also a sign of where golf takes you. It takes you to places where you never thought you would go. When you are 22, you are all about playing golf but once your career progresses, you realise that the game of golf reaches so many other things. Sometimes this sport reaches the higher level of life. It is a great platform to showcase some countries and what Malaysia is all about. It was a fantastic honour to be in that office. When you sit in a chair in an office like that, you realise how little a piece you are in a big world. It is humbling.

 

Q. How important is it for you to look at your players early in the season given that it is the Ryder Cup year as well?

There are a lot of players where I’ve seen them in that environment before. There are also the new players where it is their first test in many years for team golf. Most of them come from the amateur ranks where they’ve played team golf and represented their country. It gives me a good indication of where some of them are. There are some players who are going to be in the European team like (Tommy) Fleetwood and (Tyrrell) Hatton who I know them quite well as individual golfers but to see them in a team environment is equally important. I can’t just put my Ryder Cup cap on. I need to put my EurAsia Cup cap on and we come in and focus during the week. We need to have a team who will face a strong Asian team. If I take my focus off during the week then I don’t think we will have as a good a chance of winning.

 

Q. You’ve played in several Ryder Cup teams and served as captain in the Seve trophy. What do you think will be your main parameters in your strategy?

For me it is very much depending on the team that lines up. My job is to put a strategy in place with the players I have. I only know a few of them so far and I’m having conversations with them. In my head at the moment, I’m making out a plan. I’m very deep into stats, very deep into looking at where they are form wise and from there I will make a plan and have good conversations with them. For a lot of European golfers, it is difficult because the EurAsia Cup will be their first tournament of the year. They will come out from their winter training and it is for me to keep them in check and come out to perform to their highest level.

 

Q. Have you considered naming a vice Captain yet?

I haven’t named any vice captains. I will have one vice-captain and he will be a playing vice-captain. I will announce together with the team.

 

Q. What do the European players take away from the EurAsia Cup?

Every time we play for Europe, we play for something more than ourselves. I’ve met individual people in my career and they all tend to want to become football players or some sort of team sport. Then I meant these football players and they all want to play golf. There’s a dream of what’s on the other side. What we take away from it is the chance to play for ourselves, our country and our continent. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often. Europe is a fragmented place in a lot of ways but in the EurAsia Cup and Ryder Cup, we get to play for Europe. You don’t see that in many sports. As much as it is great fun, it is also a burden which the players carry. It tends to bring out the best in us and show that we Europeans can be close in what we do. I’ve seen that so many times in the Ryder Cups. We get asked a lot why we are so successful in the Ryder Cup even though we come from so many countries whereas the Americans they have a flag to play for. But I think that when it really comes down to it we are great at what we do. It creates an atmosphere in the team room where I’ve never seen before anywhere else. Players come in trying to make the team room the greatest place you can be in.

 

Q. Will you use the EurAsia Cup to show your intentions in the Ryder Cup just like what the Americans did in the Presidents Cup?

Well that will depend on the results… There’s a saying in golf that the Americans are really strong and I agree. They are extremely strong and they’ve certainly found something that they can use in their team golf. But if you look at the world rankings as of Monday, we have 10 Europeans in the top-20. European golf has never been in a better place on the world rankings. It is very easy to draw your attention to Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth because they’ve been extremely dominant in the second half of the season. I could have never dream of the position that the Europeans are in at the moment six months ago. I think we are really in a strong position. I have to look at things with a different eye. Those players will come into the EurAsia Cup and feel what a team room feels like and playing as a team and playing for each other. A lot of players want to be part of team event and that’s why I feel that the EurAsia Cup has a great future.

 

Q. What changed for Team Europe after the 10-10 draw in 2014 and they produced a commanding win in 2016?

Momentum is the one thing in golf that changes. When I look at 2014, we got off to a great start but we lost the momentum on Sunday and there was a growing belief in the Asian team that they could win. In the end we went from thinking we were going to win to hoping to get a draw. We see that in team events all the time. In 2016 Darren (Clarke) really kept that momentum going. He had strong characters in his team and that’s important to lead the way. You got to have players to stand up when something is going wrong. I remember my first experience in the Ryder Cup was in 1997 and we were leading 10 ½  to 5 ½  going into the Singles. There was an atmosphere in the team room that we were going to win this. All of a sudden the mood got a bit too loud and Olazabal just stood up and shouted at everybody to keep the atmosphere down and realise that there is a job to do. In 2014, we were guilty of thinking that we were going to win it and lost that momentum. I can’t use anything from 2014 or 2016 when I come here. It will be about the next three days when I come with my team in January.

 

 

 


Kuala Lumpur, October 14: American Pat Perez fired a third round eight-under-par 64 under sweltering heat to extend his overnight advantage to four shots at the CIMB Classic on Saturday.

The American’s best finish at the Malaysian showpiece was a ninth-place finish at the 2012 edition. But having produced a masterclass in putting at the TPC Kuala Lumpur all-week, Perez remains well on course to become the oldest winner in the CIMB Classic at 41 years old.

Perez raced out with an outward 33 and continued his birdie blitz on holes 10 and 12 after the turn. A bogey on 13 did little to dent his title aspirations as the American would storm home with four birdies in his closing five holes.

Perez’s three-day total of 21-under-par 195 means he will head into the final round of the US$7 million event in pole position with compatriot Xander Schauffele in second place after carding a 67.

Korea’s Sung Kang, a one-time Asian Tour winner, returned with a 65 to take third place while Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who has two top-five results in the event, and Keegan Bradley of the United States are tied for fourth on 201.

India’s Anirban Lahiri staged his comeback with a 64 to move into sixth place having started his round in tied-23rd place while Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond continued his fairy tale run with a 66 to end the day tied for seventh with Ollie Schniederjans of the United States.

Did you know?

  • Perez set the 54-hole scoring record with a 21-under-par 195 total, one shot better than Justin Thomas’ and Brendan Steele’s scores last year.
  • He credits a hot putter this week for his superb form. He tops the putting stats with an average of 1.5 putts. He has no three putts.
  • Perez has only dropped two bogeys in 54 holes on the par-4 12th and 13th holes.
  • This is his fifth appearance at the CIMB Classic. His best result in the tournament was in ninth place in 2012 but on a different golf course.
  • Perez is coming off his best season on the PGA Tour where he won once and finished a career high of 15th on the FedExCup ranking.
  • The signs look good for Perez as five out of seven players who have led or co-led after the third round of the CIMB Classic have gone on to win the event.
  • Perez, 41, is in the running to become the oldest champion in the CIMB Classic. Bo Van Pelt is currently the oldest winner at the age of 36 when he won in 2011.
  • The temperature soared to a high of 31 degrees Celsius at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
  • Like Perez, Schauffele has dropped only two bogeys this week on the par-four sixth hole (round two) and par-four first hole (round three).
  • He fired an eagle, his second in the tournament, on the par-5 10th hole. He rifled a five-iron from 250 yards before holing an 18-foot eagle putt.
  • Schauffele is making his first start at the CIMB Classic. He is also playing in his first event since being voted as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after winning The Greenbrier Classic and TOUR Championship.
  • Kang is aiming to become the first Asian to win the CIMB Classic. He trails Perez by five shots after trading seven birdies and one eagle against two bogeys. He birdied the last two holes to stay in the title hunt.
  • He won his first Asian Tour title at the 2013 CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi on home soil.
  • Matsuyama has finished inside the top-five at the CIMB Classic twice. He was fifth in 2015 and second last year. He is currently six shots back of the lead.
  • He is the highest ranked player in the elite field in third place on the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • Korea’s Whee Kim made an ace at the 208-yard par-3 15th hole, the first of his PGA TOUR career and the second of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season. The-hole-in-one earned Kim a BMW 740Le xDrive Hybrid, which was presented to him by Han Sang Yun, Managing Director/CEO of BMW Malaysia after the round. This is the fourth consecutive year that an ace has been recorded at the CIMB Classic.

Player’s Quotes

Pat Perez (Usa), Third round 64 (-8), Total 195 (-21)

I didn’t really hit it that great but I putted good again. You know, I’m just kind of getting the most out of my game right now. It’s the same greens I won on in Mexico, so I really can see the line and I can see the ball in the wind here. It’s helped me, especially this. I can’t really explain, I’ve hit some good shots, I’ve hit some good putts, but things are just clicking right now. I didn’t look at the board. I wanted to get to 20 today, that was my goal, and then I know I needed my goal for the end is like 26 so I needed 13. I knew I had to do that again. These guys are so good and you can make so many birdies out here so fast and I know that. I’m not really worried about the board, I’m worried about the end number. So if I can get another six tomorrow, I might be tough to catch. I’m trying to stay alive out here, it’s so hot anyway. Of course everybody wants to win, it would be nice to do it, get the year started off right, but it is what it is. I’m going to go out and try to hit a little better, make some putts and we’ll see what happens.

Xander Schauffele (Usa) – Third round 67 (-5), Total 199 (-17)

I went up against a 64 and a 65 today, so I was the hack of the group today, but happy with how I played. It’s fun. You would much rather have the group chasing forward up the leaderboard than kind of stagnant. So it’s all good. You know, watching both those guys make putts is always a good thing visually for me. Like I said, you want to see guys making putts in front of you. Then you feel like the hole’s just a little bit bigger. I’m playing with Pat again, which was a lot of fun today. We’ll have to figure a number out tomorrow on the course probably.

Sung Kang (Kor) – Third Round 65 (-7), Total 200 (-16)

Yeah, I played pretty good today, and Pat really made a lot of putts today. So, I mean, I had some chances but I didn’t putt as well as, I mean, I should have. So hopefully tomorrow I putt a little bit better than today and have some good start. There’s a lot of birdie opportunities so I look forward to it. If he shoots 4 under it will be same score, so who knows. I’ll try my best tomorrow. Both days were pretty hot anyway so it doesn’t really matter to me.

Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Third round 63 (-9), Total 201 (-15)

I knew the guys atop the leaderboard were going to extend their lead and I was hoping to get 12, 15 under at the start of the day. I might have left a couple out there. There were a couple of shorter putts that I wasn’t able to convert, but all in all, I’m very happy with the round I played today. I’ll just go home, get some rest and tee it up tomorrow and do my very best. You know, with the way Pat is playing, I don’t know if he can be caught or not.

Ends.

About CIMB Group

The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com

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.

Please visit us at:

www.dev-asian.ocs-software.com
www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf
www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf
www.youtube.com/theasiantour
www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf

About PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR is the leading global platform in professional golf, showcasing the highest expression of excellence, both on and off the course. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, grow and protect the game of golf and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. Its members represent the world’s best players, hailing from 24 countries (89 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1.1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2016, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $166 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.46 billion. The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.


Kuala Lumpur, October 13: Pat Perez took advantage of the cooler conditions by firing a superb six-under-par 65 to seize the second round lead at the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Friday.

The American bogeyed his third hole but benefited from a three-hour 40-minute thunderstorm as he returned with eight birdies to lead on 13-under-par 131 at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.

Xander Schauffele, who was voted the 2016-2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, eagled the par-three fifth hole from 27 foot to stay a further shot back following a 67 in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.

Sung Kang (68) of Korea, a winner on the Asian Tour, overnight leader Cameron Smith (71) of Australia and Thomas Pieters (67) of Belgium shared third place on matching 135s to lie four shots back of the lead.

The 41-year-old Perez turned in 35 but four straight birdies from the second hole and two closing birdies moved him to the top of the leaderboard.

Schauffele stayed in the title hunt when he eagled the par-three fifth hole from 27-feet, his longest putt this week. He traded four birdies against a lone bogey to stay in second place for the second straight day.

Did you know?

  • Perez enjoyed his best season on the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season where he won once and claimed six other top-10 finishes. The victory was his second on the PGA Tour.
  • This is his fifth appearance at the CIMB Classic. His best result in the tournament was ninth at the 2012 showpiece albeit on a different golf course.
  • Perez, 41, is in the running to become the oldest champion in the CIMB Classic. Bo Van Pelt is currently the oldest winner at the age of 36 when he won in 2011.
  • Only two players have led at the halfway stage and gone on to win the CIMB Classic. They are Ben Crane (2010) and Justin Thomas (2015 and 2016)
  • Schauffele is making his first start at the CIMB Classic. He is also playing in his first event since being voted as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after winning The Greenbrier Classic and TOUR Championship.
  • He dropped his only bogey after 36 holes on the par-four sixth hole. He fired six other birdies and one eagle in the second round.
  • Schauffele has some Asian heritage. His father is half French and German but his mother is Taiwanese and grew up in Japan.
  • Sung Kang won his first Asian Tour title at the 2013 CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi on home soil.
  • He made his debut in the CIMB Classic last year where he finished in a share of 21st position. He is currently four shots back of the lead.
  • The round of the day belonged to Paul Casey of England who shot a 63 highlighted by 10 birdies and one bogey. It was a welcome return to form for the world number 14 who opened with a 77. He is currently tied in 23rd place.

Ends.

Player’s Quotes

About CIMB Group

The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com

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.

Please visit us at:

www.dev-asian.ocs-software.com
www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf
www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf
www.youtube.com/theasiantour
www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf

About PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR is the leading global platform in professional golf, showcasing the highest expression of excellence, both on and off the course. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, grow and protect the game of golf and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players. The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. Its members represent the world’s best players, hailing from 24 countries (89 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1.1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2016, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $166 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.46 billion. The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.


Kuala Lumpur, October 12: India’s Anirban Lahiri opened with a five-under-par 67 to stay in the mix at the CIMB Classic on Thursday.

Lahiri is bunched in tied eighth place together with Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, American Brendan Steele, Davis Love III, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Korea’s Sung Kang at the US$7 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.

They are three shots behind Australian leader, Cameron Smith at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.

While disappointed with his first round efforts which he put down to his putting, Lahiri is hopeful of closing the gap when the second round commences.

Phachara surprised even himself as he did not have a practice round and could only walk the course yesterday, having arrived home from Scotland on Wednesday.

The young Thai is playing for the first time at the CIMB Classic and it is only the second time in his professional career that he is teeing up in an event which has no cut.

Did you know?

  • Lahiri is a seven-time Asian Tour winner, who also holds a full PGA TOUR card. He finished 51st in the FedExCup in his second season on the PGA TOUR which was also his best finish to date.
  • Lahiri held a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the 2016 CIMB Classic, a tournament record, before eventually finishing tied-third.
  • The Indian will be making his sixth appearance at the CIMB Classic.
  • Lahiri made his second start in last month’s Presidents Cup as a Captain’s pick for the International Team.
  • Phachara is the youngest player at the age of 18 in the elite field this week. He was also the youngest player to play in The Open last year.
  • He arrived from Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and did not play a practice round at TPC Kuala Lumpur. He only walked the course.
  • Phachara opened with a bogey (10th hole) but fought back with four straight birdies starting from the 16th hole. He added two more birdies to enjoy a solid first day.
  • The Thai has two runner-up finishes this year in Singapore and Australia. He is currently ranked seventh on the Order of Merit but is still searching for a first Asian Tour victory.

Player’s Quotes

Anirban Lahiri (Ind) First round 67 (-5)

It is a good score and good start. A little disappointed, though as I didn’t have a very good back nine. Obviously got off to a red hot start and then couldn’t capitalize on the relatively scoring part of the golf course. Guilty of missing a lot of putts from around eight to 12 feet, didn’t really make anything in the last nine holes, had at least six of them. So disappointed, honestly. Feel like I should have closed two or three shots better, but it’s a good score to start and I’ll have to go on from here. I think that’s the toughest part of the golf course, 11, 12, 13, and if you can play those holes even par or under par you’re doing well. So obviously, like I said, I got off to a really good start and then I just didn’t capitalize on the shorter holes. The par 5s on the front, I only made one birdie. I didn’t birdie 16 or 17 from the fairway. You want to hit fairways and then you set up birdies, but I just didn’t make those putts. So kind of disappointed, like I said, to not have posted a better score, but you can see the scoring is going to be low so you just have to keep going. I don’t think it’s possible to be any more aggressive. You’ve got to play smart. As long as you’re on the fairway, we’ve got ball in hand all week so that helps as well because you can pretty much be assured of a clean ball and you can fire at the greens. Yeah, I think it’s going to be the same over the next three days and just try and make a bunch of putts. I kind of know what I need to do to handle it. I have my own ways, I know how much I need to hydrate and how much fuel I need to put in, so I think that experience is good for me. But when you play here more and more often, you’ll find all of us are professionals and we will adapt, so over a period of time we all get used to it. Having said that, I’m quite comfortable in these conditions so it doesn’t make a difference.

Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) First round 67 (-5)

Today I didn’t think I could get five-under because it’s my first start at the CIMB Classic. On my first hole which was the par-five 10, I couldn’t hit my second shot into the green, and I made a bogey there. I was able to control the ball better after that and began to putt better. I’m not thinking too far ahead now. I just want to play like what I did today. I came without any expectations and I just want to play my best. There is less pressure too as there’s no cut for this event.

Ends.

About CIMB Group

The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com

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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