Photo: (3rd from left) Cho Minn Thant, CEO, Asian Tour, Tang Meng Loon, Kota Permai Director, Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, MGA President, Zulkifly Said, Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director General and Arep Kulal, CEO Winning Matters.
Kuala Lumpur, December 16: The Malaysian Open, one of the most highly regarded events in the region, will make a welcome return to the Asian Tour schedule from March 5 to 8, 2020, following a four-year hiatus, officials announced today.
The highly acclaimed event is the flagship event for the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) where the upcoming edition will be sanctioned by the Asian Tour in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO). The Malaysian Open 2020 will offer a prize purse of USD$1,000,000 and will be held at the award-winning Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, which last staged the National Open of Malaysia in 2008.
Inaugurated in 1962 and boosting a new tagline ‘Pride, Passion, Prominence‘, the prestigious Malaysian Open has crowned many notable champions which include the likes of former world number ones Vijay Singh (1992 and 2001) and Lee Westwood (1997 and 2014), who have both won the tournament twice.
A host of past winners such as Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, India’s Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri have also gone on to lift the coveted Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns following their victories in the storied event.
Lahiri won the last edition in 2015 for his sixth Asian Tour title and first on the European Tour while Atwal, who recorded the tournament’s lowest winning score with a 24-under-par 260 total in 2003, emerged victorious at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club in 2008.
“The Malaysian Open is arguably the most prestigious and long-standing professional golf event in the region. It has provided a platform for Malaysian professional golfers and amateurs ample opportunities to compete against some of the best players from around the world, such as Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oouisthuizen, Thongchai Jaidee, Lee Westwood, Ernie Els and Charles Schwartzel,” said MGA President, Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.
Tan Sri Anwar further added: “For the 2020 edition, 40 slots will be offered to our local players, comprising 30 slots reserved for eligible Malaysian professionals and 10 slots for Malaysian amateurs made up of national players and top Malaysian juniors. We hope that our Malaysian players will take this opportunity to train hard to compete with their peers from the Asian and Japan Tours and vie for the top honours in this Championship”.
Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, lauded the return of the Malaysian Open on the Asian Tour. “The Malaysian Open is one of the oldest National Opens in the region and we are excited and honoured to welcome the storied event back into our fold.
“I would like to express our gratitude to the Malaysian Golf Association for their outstanding support of the game at the highest level in Asia. The tournament’s return to our schedule is a massive boost for the Tour as we continue to strive in promoting professional golf across Asia.
“Malaysia has always been a key market for the Asian Tour. The return of the country’s National Open will not only inspire a new generation of Malaysian golfers but also create further opportunities for our members to showcase their talents,” said Cho.
The Malaysian Open has featured prominently on the annual Asian Tour schedule from 1999 to 2015. It also became the first event to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour in 1999.
Other notable past winners include Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon (1984) and Yeh Wei-tze (2000), American Anthony Kang (2009), Italian Matteo Manassero (2011) and Louis Oosthuizen (2012) of South Africa.