Maybank, who are entering their seventh consecutive year as the title sponsor of the National Open, has confirmed that world number four and 2010 US PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer of Germany and 2011 Masters Tournament champion and ninth-ranked Charl Schwartzel of South Africa will headline the field in the US$2.5 million tournament, jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.
"This marks the seventh year that Maybank is in association with the Malaysian Open and we are still as excited as we were back then at being part of this historic and significant tournament. It fills me with great pride that Maybank has not only done its part to elevate our prestigious Open to its current stature as one of the main fixtures on both the European and Asian Tours, but also increasing the profile and reach of the Royal and Ancient sport in Malaysia," said Tan Sri Dato' Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, Chairman, Maybank.
On the return of Kaymer and Schwartzel to Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato' Megat added, "We are thrilled to welcome back Martin Kaymer to the Maybank Malaysian Open. He was definitely a gallery favourite last year and is a proven winner, and I believe that the spectators will be delighted once again to witness the German's stellar long game and nifty touches around the greens.
"The presence of another Major winner in the form of Charl Schwartzel is also a boost for the tournament and the Johannesburg native with his technically solid golf swing is a great player to watch."
The custodians of the Maybank Malaysian Open, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) acknowledged that the Open has played a pivotal role in expanding the reach of the game in the country.
"The growth of the Malaysian Open is also indicative of how far golf has developed in Malaysia and how this tournament has played a part in the improvement of our local players over the years. The Open's ability to consistently attract world-class golfers to our shores has not only motivated our local professionals to raise the level of their game but also inspire a new breed of young champions, who are given the opportunity to observe and learn the finer aspects of competing on the international stage," said MGA President Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato' Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.
The Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, will host the National Open for the fourth time in its history - it also hosted the event in 2006 - and the challenging West Course with its multiple dogleg fairways and demanding multi-tiered greens will be primed once again for the onslaught of the professionals from the Asian and European Tours.
"This marks the third straight-year that KLGCC has been chosen as the venue for our prestigious National Open. We view it as a great honour and are looking forward to shoulder the responsibility as the venue for the Open's 51st edition. Together with Maybank, MGA, GlobalOne and all other stakeholders, we will endeavor to once again deliver a truly world class golf tournament to remember," said Robert Bird, the General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
The first tournament in Asia to be co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours in 1999, the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012 will once again feature top players from the rankings of both these professional circuits to make up the 156-player line-up.
Prize money earned at the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012 will go towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit and will also count towards The 2012 Race to Dubai, where the top 60 ranked European Tour players at the culmination of the Hong Kong Open in November will qualify for the season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai from November 22-25.