Image by Asian Tour
KANG READY FOR TITLE DEFENCE AT MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN
Defending champion Anthony Kang of the United States is ready to face the challenges from an elite field when the 49th edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open tees off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) from March 4-7.
Kang, who ended an eight-year title drought by lifting the Maybank Malaysian Open title last season, will come up against the likes of three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Asian Tour honorary member, K.J. Choi of Korea as well as Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke at the US$2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
The American’s win last season earned him playing rights in Asia and Europe and he believes that the global experience has put him in good stead ahead of his title defence next month.
“Every week, you play the best that you can and see how that puts you back. I’ve learnt a lot from playing in Europe and I’m beginning to see the positive signs. My game is better than last year so I’m really excited,” said Kang, who finished third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season which was also his best finish in 12 seasons in the region.
The Korean-American is determined to stay in the winners’ circle again this season and hopes he can make it a double win in Malaysia again this year.
“It's always exciting going back to Malaysia but this time we are going to a different course so it will be a slightly different feeling in that aspect,” said the 37-year-old.
“But having said that, I don't really feel much pressure going back as the defending champion as I see improvements in my game. Hopefully I can win and open more doors again,” added Kang.
Meanwhile India’s Arjun Atwal who won the 2003 and 2008 editions is hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The US-based Indian has won seven times on the Asian Tour and was also Asia’s number one in 2003.
Memories of his victories in Malaysia are still fresh and Atwal is looking forward to another memorable week in the Malaysian capital.
“I obviously like the event as I’ve always done well in Malaysia. I’ve won twice and it’s a good tournament for me,” said Atwal.
A star-studded field is expected at the 49th edition of the Maybank Malaysian Open, with the local players competing with some of the world’s best players for the championship title.
With a US$2 million prize purse up on offer, spectators can expect an exciting tournament this March.