Woods to return to Malaysia in October
Tiger Woods will compete for the first time in Malaysia's $6.1 million CIMB Classic in October, organisers said Monday, in a big boost for Southeast Asia's only USPGA Tour-sanctioned event.
It will be a first appearance in Malaysia in well over a decade for the US star, who has clawed his way back to world No 2 after struggling for three years with injuries and a well-publicised sex scandal.
The tournament, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, will be held October 25-28 at the Mines Resort and Golf Club outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Organisers also said that beginning next year, the CIMB Classic will become an official USPGA Tour money event and part of the FedExCup, the Tour's season-long championship competition.
Confirmed participants this time include reigning champion Bo Van Pelt and Ben Crane of the United States.
"The early confirmations will give this year's event great early momentum. Ben and Bo have developed a good local following and Tiger will be a huge draw especially given his ASEAN roots," Nazir Razak, CEO of banking group CIMB, said in a statement released by the Asian Tour.
Woods last played in Malaysia in 1999, when he won the World Cup of Golf.
"I haven't been back to Malaysia since '99, so that's one reason I want to go back," Woods was quoted as saying by ESPN.com.
"It's nice to go back to a place where I've already played and won."
Woods, however, will skip the World Golf Championship the following week in China, ESPN quoted his agent Mark Steinberg as saying.
The WGC-HSBC Champions is set for November 1-4 at Mission Hills in southern China, but Steinberg said Woods would be participating in "special events" that week.
The CIMB Classic will feature 48 players including 30 from the USPGA Tour and 10 from the Asian Tour.
The tournament, which launched in 2010, will see a bigger field next year and a sweetened purse of $7 million.