Top players set for another Classic

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KUALA LUMPUR: It’s that time of year again when the top players on the PGA Tour and the Asian Tour descend on the capital to do battle for points in the FedEx Cup rankings and the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

The  US$7 million (RM22.89 million) CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) starts on Thursday and finishes on Sunday. The field features 78 players and the winner will take home US$1.26 million.

Thirteen of the top 50 players from the current Official World Golf Ranking are competing in the CIMB Classic. World No 4 Sergio Garcia of Spain, FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and US Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed will be among the PGA Tour stars with current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, American David Lipsky, leading the charge of 10 Asian Tour stalwarts who will play alongside Major winners such as Jason Dufner, Stewart Cink, Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen.

PGA Tour rookie Chesson Hadley and Asian Tour rising star Cameron Smith of Australia are expected to give the elite field a good run for their money. Defending champion Ryan Moore of the US and 2014 Malaysian Open champion Lee Westwood will be looking for another win at the KLGCC.

Leading the Malaysian contingent are Nicholas Fung and Danny Chia. Fung is the highest ranked Malaysian player on the Official World Golf Ranking while Chia qualified by winning in the SapuraKencana National Qualifier. Japanese superstars Ryo Ishikawa and Hideki Matsuyama will also be present. Matsuyama is one of the front runners which include Horschel Dufner, Garcia, Lipsky, India’s Anirban Lahiri, Moore, defending champion  Westwood, South Korea’s Noh Seung-yul and Angelo Que of the Philippines.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 28, 2014.