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Saturday, 09 October 2010 19:07


Noh Seung yul

Johor Bahru, October 9: Nine of this season’s Asian Tour winners, led by Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant and history-maker Siddikur of Bangladesh, will head full speed to the US$1.25 million Iskandar Johor Open next week with every intention of plundering more silverware.

Filipino Angelo Que, who has won in Malaysia this season, will also feature at the impressive Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club from October 14-17, 2010 alongside fellow winners Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand, South African Peter Karmis, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Australian Marcus Fraser, currently second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

The fourth edition of the Iskandar Johor Open, boasting a record prize pot this year, will include Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and team member Padraig Harrington of Ireland, two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa and title holder K.J. Choi of Korea.

Noh will be shooting for a unique Malaysian double as he won the national Open in March with a sensational birdie at the 72nd hole to pip Choi by one stroke. “I played in last year’s Iskandar Johor Open and finished in the top-10. I hear we’ll be playing on a top golf course next week and I’m looking forward to playing well there. Hopefully I can win again in Malaysia,” said Noh, who enjoyed recent top-10s in the Omega European Masters and Panasonic Open in Japan.

A return to Malaysia always brings back good memories for Thaworn who won the Volvo Masters of Malaysia title in 2001 and the 1996 Sabah Masters.

The decorated veteran equaled countryman Thongchai Jaidee’s record 12 victories on the Asian Tour in the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei three weeks ago and he will be pumped up to become the first player to reach 13 titles at the Iskandar Johor Open.

“Now that I’ve won my 12th title, I’m looking forward to extending my winning record on the Asian Tour,” said Thaworn, who was Asia’s number one in 2005.

One of the success stories this season has been the stunning rise of the previously unheralded Siddikur, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi who grew up in humble surroundings in Dhaka.

He became the first man from his country to win on the Asian Tour with a play-off success at the Brunei Open in August and nearly won a second title at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last week where he lost in extra time to Pariya.

“I can say that I’m now a step higher in my career and for golf in my country. It made me proud to become the first Bangladeshi to play on the Asian Tour and win a tournament. It is a big achievement,” said Siddikur, who is currently ranked 11th on the Order of Merit.

The effervescent Que was triumphant at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in August and is gunning for another title charge at Horizon Hills. He calls Malaysia his second home and victory at the Iskandar Johor Open will certainly strengthen his love-affair with the country.

“I am just at home here. Even with all the local caddies and Malaysian players, they look after me well. It just feels like I’m at home. I think I play well in the Philippines and I play well here as well. I guess you can call Malaysia my second home when it comes to golf,” said Que, the Philippine Open champion in 2008.

Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the official regional sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia and the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia, the Iskandar Johor Open will be contested by 144 players consisting of the top 116 players on the Asian Tour ranking, the top 10 Malaysians on the PGAM Order of Merit, 10 sponsors invites, top five players from the Malaysian Qualifier and top three players from the International Qualifier.

The main sponsor of the Iskandar Johor Open is the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA). It is also supported by platinum sponsor - UEM Land Holdings Berhad, the master developer of Nusajaya which is a key driver of Iskandar Malaysia and hosted by the Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club. Other co-sponsors include 100 Plus, Auto Bavaria Johor Bahru, Heineken, Kuok Brothers Sdn. Bhd, Pulai Springs Resort, Ricoh, Srixon, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Telekom Malaysia, Titoni and Winston Wine. The official media partners are Fairways, Golf Malaysia and ParGolf. The tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Johor Golf Association.

The Iskandar Johor Open

The inaugural edition of the Iskandar Johor Open kicked off in August 2007. Held at the Johor Country Club (JCC) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, it carried a prize purse of USD$300,000 and the honour of hoisting the trophy for the first time fell to Artemio Murakami of the Philippines. In October 2008, the championship offered an improved purse of USD$500,000 and South African Retief Goosen went on to clinch the coveted trophy at JCC. 2009 marked a milestone in the history of the Iskandar Johor Open, with a 100% increase in prize money to USD$1,000,000, certainly pointing to the tournament’s growing stature. It was won by Korean K.J. Choi, who triumphed over rising Indian star Himmat Rai and defending champion Retief Goosen.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA)

Iskandar Malaysia is set to become Southern Peninsular Malaysia's most developed region, where living, entertainment, environment and business seamlessly converge within a bustling and vibrant metropolis. The Iskandar Regional Development Authority is the statutory body tasked with realizing the vision of developing Iskandar Malaysia.

IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

More information about IMG is available at www.imgworld.com.

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Pan Pacific (Official Hotel), BlackBerry (Official Mobile) and Srixon (Official Ball).

Source: http://www.asiantour.com/news.aspx?sid=20101009121860661640



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