Friday, March 12, 2010

Iskandar Open v PGA Tour Asia Pacific Malaysia Classic

One is the pet project of the Johor royal family. The other is a prestigious golf tourney launched by our Prime Minister.

Read the Bernama report in December last year.

Malaysia To Host The PGA Tour Next Year, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

announced that Malaysia will be hosting the prestigious golf competition, the PGA Tour, next year.

"It was my childhood ambition to see the PGA Tour brought to Malaysia and now it will become a reality...and today, I am proud to announce that next year Malaysia will be hosting the PGA Tour.

"We will be the first nation in the South East Asian region to host such a prestigious golf competition. It is a great honour to be given the opportunity," said Najib in his speech at the official launch of the Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia, here Monday.

The inaugural tournament will be held at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Seri Kembangan, near here.

At the ceremony, Najib also announced that the golf competition offers a total prize money of US$6 million and the winner of the competition will walk home with US$1 million.

"I was not quite sure then that it could happen and I didn't know what it takes to be able to host the PGA Tour event in Malaysia.

Because it certainly requires a full agreement of the PGA Tour. Fortunately, we have Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, an entrepreneur who has the courage and vision to do things that are difficult or almost impossible to do.

"The competition (the Asia Pacific Golf Classic) will also be the largest prize purse tournament in South East Asia. And, there is a commitment in place to guarantee the growth of the purse," said Najib.

He noted that the competition would further boost Malaysia's revenue through tourism and enhancing the country's standing in the international sporting arena.

"It will be a boost and very positive. It will make the Mines golf course more popular as one of the major golf courses in the world. It will also make Malaysia as the favourite golfing destination," said Najib.

He said that over the four-day competition, over 400 million households and in 200 countries around the world would be watching the prestigious competition and this would be a good avenue not only for golf but also Malaysian tourism.

The inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Classic Malaysia will feature an international field of 40 players competing.

The top 25 players from the PGA Tour's final FedExCup standings will automatically qualify, as will the top-10 available players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit and at least one Malaysian professional will be guaranteed a place in the field.

The Star report

Tuesday March 9, 2010

Clash of dates puts Iskandar Open and Asia Paciffic Classic in jeopady

PETALING JAYA: The inaugural CIMB Asia Pacific Golf Classic, which is offering a hefty prize money of US$6mil, will be held at the same time as the Iskandar Johor Open from Oct 28-31.

And the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) are not amused and are threatening not to endorse the tournament unless the organisers change the dates.

MGA president Datuk Robin Loh said they have not been consulted regarding the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic.

“They have not come to seek our opinion so far. In my view, the timing is wrong. There cannot be two big golf tournaments going on in the country at the same time.

“This does not happen elsewhere and we will definitely be the laughing stock of the world. “If they come to talk to us, we will ask them to reconsider the dates.

“We understand the Asian Tour is looking at the Iskandar Johor Open as one of their main events and we do not want it to be interrupted.

“Otherwise, in the event of this conflict, we will write to the Sports Commissioner’s office to ask them not to issue the licence,” said Robin.

It is not just MGA but the Asian Tour who are also in a dilemma as the dates for the Iskandar Johor Open have already been fixed when the 2010 calendar was announced.

The Iskandar Johor Open this year is set to see an increase of prize money to US$2mil and timed to attract a strong field as the dates are just before the US$7mil HSBC Champions in Shanghai from Nov 4-7, which is a World Golf Championship event.

The dates for the inaugural Classic to be held at Mines Resort and Golf Club were made known when CIMB Group signed on as the title sponsor on Tuesday.

The PGA-sanctioned tournament will see a top class international field of 40 players competing for a winners’ purse of US$1mil.

The field will be made up of the top 25 available players from the PGA Tours final FedEx Cup standings, the top 10 available players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit and five sponsor exemptions. However, there is no ranking points at stake.

Robin said they have no problem with another inaugural tournament — the US$1.8mil Sime Darby LPGA Classic, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from Oct 22-24.

“The organisers have been talking to us. We have no problem sanctioning an event if it brings benefit to golf development in the country and there is no conflict,” he added.

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