ASEAN’s leading homegrown international golfing experience, the Maybank Championship, will return for a third edition to Saujana Golf & Country Club in 2018. To be held from 1–4 February 2018, the highly anticipated co-sanctioned event will see 156 of the world’s leading golfers from the European Tour, and a contingent of the best professional golf players from the Asian Tour, competing for a piece of the event’s USD3 million prize purse.
The Palm Course at Saujana Golf & Country Club, nicknamed “The Cobra,” which was upgraded in 2017, will be further enhanced and lengthened to cater for the event in 2018, reinforcing its standing as one of the most difficult golf courses in the world, and a leading Championship Course in Asia.
“Maybank has been a key driving force behind the rise of businesses and economies across ASEAN and making a positive impact in the communities that we are in. We have supported the development of both infrastructure and people in business, government, communities and sports in any way that we can. Golf is one area we have been involved in for over a decade and the Maybank Championship is a distillation of all that into a single platform where the best in sports, business and talent as well as a superior experience comes together in Malaysia, from across the world including ASEAN,” said Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Group President and CEO of Maybank.
The Maybank Championship was created with the vision of building a platform for players not just from the European Tour and Asian Tours to compete; but to also provide opportunities for appropriately qualified ASEAN players and Malaysians to stand a chance at contesting in an international event. This was a particular area of interest to Maybank as opportunities for rising ASEAN golfing talent on the international stage were limited, which in turn limited the potential for ASEAN professionals to make their mark on the global professional golf circuit.
Maybank’s focus on this aspect was demonstrated when it introduced a special category for ASEAN golfers in 2017 as part of efforts to grow the game of golf across the region. The first initiative of its kind on the International Tours’ circuit, the category created opportunities for rising tour professionals in ASEAN, as well as ten top Malaysian golfers from the PGM Tour, a chance to compete with some of the world’s best golfers from both the Asian and European Tours.
In 2018, this category will continue, to reinforce the Group’s commitment in ensuring that the Maybank Championship is more than just a golf event.
“The Championship is a competitive platform that also seeks to uplift and unite the ASEAN region; through the power of competition, fair play and camaraderie. Like in 2017, we will offer a total of five slots to promising young players from the ASEAN region to participate in our Championship where they will have the chance to pit their skills against some of the world’s best golfers,” said Datuk Farid.
He added that the 2018 event will continue efforts at expanding the appeal of golf, as well as enhancing the sensory experience of visitors to the event to bring both Maybank and the tournament closer to the people.
“The course at Saujana is very competitive and will challenge our golfers; while the facilities at the resort will ensure that guests at the Maybank Championship 2018 will enjoy the many experiential elements that we will be bringing to life on site. Whether they come to experience the game, see the various community engagements we have for visitors, or just mingle while enjoying our 5-star hospitality – we will have something for everyone, just like we do when it comes to providing our services across the region,” he said.
In addition to continuing the Group’s commitment to golf in the region, the Maybank Championship 2018 will also support corporate responsibility programmes through MaybankHeart, the Group’s digital social fund-raising platform to assist NGOs and charitable bodies reach a wider audience for their causes. Details of the programmes and their initiatives will be announced in the coming months.
The Maybank Championship has in the past attracted well known golfers such as Danny Willett, Marcus Fraser, Martin Kaymer, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee, Miguel Tabuena, Gavin Green, Danny Chia and Anirban Lahiri to name a few.