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IRS Prima Malaysian Open announces field, includes 30 Malaysians in the mix
Golf fans are in for a grand treat when the Malaysian Open welcomes an elite field of players that will compete from 15-18 February at The Mines Resort & Golf Club.
The IRS Prima Malaysian Open 2024 will be the 55th staging since the inaugural championship was first played at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
In a first of firsts, the tournament will celebrate another significant milestone after being awarded The Open Qualifying Series Asia status by The R&A.
Three leading finishers at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, who are not already exempted before the closing date for entries of The Open, will qualify to play in this year’s Open Championship to be held at Royal Troon from 14-21 July, 2024.
A total of 150 professional players from the Asian Tour and Malaysia have confirmed their participation to play for the USD$1 million prize purse.
Some of the Asian Tour’s top names entered for the IRS Prima Malaysian Open 2024 are Australia’s Jed Morgan, Americans James Piot and Sihwan Kim, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jazz Janewattananond from Thailand, and defending champion Trevor Simsby from USA to name a few.
Four national team players will be in the field after receiving exemptions from the Malaysian Golf Association and the organising committee.
While it has been a long wait for the nation to celebrate a Malaysian victory, there is every possibility that the moment is just around the corner.
At the top of the list of Malaysians having the potential to lift the Seagram Trophy is none other than double-Olympian Gavin Kyle Green, who currently plays on the DP World Tour. He has played in nine Malaysian Opens as both an amateur and as a professional.
“My best memory of the Malaysian Open was when I won best amateur in 2013, finishing in T22 with a total score of -6,” said the 30-year-old who turned pro in 2015. “In 2013, I carded my lowest tournament score of 6-under 210 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club to tie for 22nd place.”
This year’s tournament will be the first time in history that Gavin and his younger brother Galven will play as professionals in the national open. Galven has played in two previous opens as an amateur.
Other noteworthy Malaysians to watch out for at The Mines Resort & Golf Club are Ben Leong, Shariffuddin Ariffin, Ervin Chang, Danny Chia, Amir Nazrin, Nicholas Fung, Khor Kheng Wai, Paul San, Daeng Abdul Rahman and R. Nachimuthu to name a few.
While the nation’s hopes rest on the shoulders of the Malaysian pros, who’s to deny the possibility of a talented amateur from springing a surprise.
National team players Anson Yeo, Zia Iqmal, Nateeshvar Ganesh and Haris Hezri have been given spots in the tournament by the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA).
Also included are two talented junior players that were selected after a two-day trial - Ajmal Fajri and Adif Haikal Md. Hazan. This is part of the MGA’s training program to expose talented amateurs and juniors to compete in high-profile tournaments like the Malaysian Open.
“The Organizing Committee is grateful that some of the top Asian Tour players have confirmed their entries and this certainly gives golf fans much to cheer about come tournament week,” said MGA President, Admiral Tan Sri Dato Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor (R).
“While it will be exciting to watch the professionals battle it out for the Seagram Trophy, who knows what surprise our talented amateurs can spring in the championship. Anyone deserves to win it in the traditional spirit of the hallowed game.”
The Group CEO of IRS Prima Holding Sdn Bhd, Dato’ Yusof bin Abdul Rahman said, “It is very exciting to see some of the top names from the Asian Tour participating. We believe golf fans will witness some of the best golf to be played at The Mines. Furthermore, the inclusion of talented Malaysian players will certainly motivate aspiring golfers in Malaysia to pick-up the game.”
Hj. Shahwal Ahmad of Fairway Inspire Sdn Bhd, the event promoter said, “Every consideration was given to our local professionals and offered playing opportunities. Without a doubt, the members of the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia’s (PGAM) and those on the PGM Tour’s Order of Merit deserve a chance to show what they are made of. With the local professionals and amateurs in the field, Malaysia may just see a Malaysian player finally crowned as the champion this year.”
The other sponsors supporting the championship are St. Giles Boulevard Kuala Lumpur, 100Plus, Carlsberg, Alty Orthopaedic Hospital, Crestlink, Titoni, Kementerian Belia & Sukan Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia.