Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia: The Sabah Masters returns this week to bring the ASEAN PGA Tour season to an exciting conclusion and also boasting an increased overall purse of US$100,000.
To be played from January 14-17 it will return to Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club with the support of its mainstay sponsors Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and Tourism Malaysia.
The tournament, which last year featured prize money of US$75,000, also brings the curtain down on the season-long battle for places on the Order of Merit called the Road to Sabah Masters.
The Road to Sabah Masters was launched last season on the ASEAN PGA Tour aimed at reinforcing the stature of the popular Malaysian tournament.
Further signalling the popularity of the Sabah Masters, this year welcomes on board major new sponsors in Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd and official airline Malindo Airlines.
Also supporting the event are Star Cruise, the official cruise liner sponsor, Panasonic as official audio visual sponsor and Srixon, the official golf ball sponsor.
Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul has already wrapped up the Merit list title thanks to three victories but competitors will pull out all the stops to win the Sabah Masters, the circuit’s Tour Championship.
“The Sabah Masters and the Road to Sabah Masters allows Sabah Tourism Board to show to our region the huge appeal of Kota Kinabalu and Sabah,” said Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Cultural & Environment, Sabah.
“Sabah is recognised as a leading destination for golfers and tourists. It is an idyllic place to visit and we are thrilled that many of Southeast Asia’s best professionals will play in what is essentially the ASEAN PGA Tour’s Tour Championship.”
Datuk Hj Abu Bakar Wahab Bin Hj Abas, Chief Executive Officer of Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd, added: “We have watched the growth of the Sabah Masters with much interest over the past years and can truly see what a great event it is for Kota Kinabalu and Sabah. Our business is focused on developing Sabah and increasing its appeal as a business and investment destination. Partnering with the Sabah Masters is a great fit to promote that agenda.”
The Sabah Masters was revived in 2011 after a gap of 10 years.
The tournament has a storied history with some great names having won the title including Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant in 1996.
This will mark the fourth successive season Sutera Harbour has hosted the tournament. However, it was also staged at the venue in 1999 when American Robert Huxtable triumphed.
The 384-acre resort provides a spectacular array of activities including luxurious five-star hotels, a championship golf course, a marina and other recreational facilities.
Designed by Graham Marsh, Sutera Harbour boasts 27 holes for day and night golfing and has garnered various awards of distinction.
“Sutera Harbour felt the past three Sabah Masters were a tremendous success and we are thoroughly looking forward to the next edition. The tournament allows us to watch some of the region’s finest professionals compete on a course that we are very proud of while at the same time showcasing the many other treats that Sutera Harbour has to offer,” said Rick Blackie, General Manager, Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club.
“Sabah’s reputation as one of the strongholds of Malaysian golf is sure to be enhanced by another fine edition of their prestigious tournament. It is extremely rewarding to see the Sabah Masters continue its revival and the successful launch of the Road to the Sabah Masters,” said AC Wong, Executive Chairman, ASEAN PGA.
World Sport Group [WSG], the official commercial partner for the ASEAN PGA and a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, is promoting the event for the fourth successive time.
As part of this relationship, WSG will produce a one-hour highlight show that will be broadcast on FOX Sports.
Shanghai, China: PacificPine Sports, exclusive operator of the PGA Youth Development golf academies in Greater China, has partnered with Lanhai International Golf Club to open a new PGA Learning and Performance Centre.