Wednesday, March 20, 2013


World Number Three Luke Donald will headline an all-star cast in this week’s Maybank Malaysian Open, which carries an increased prize fund of US$2.75million. 
Donald, who finished in fourth place in last week’s Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank on the US PGA Tour, will be bidding to secure his eighth victory on The European Tour in Kuala Lumpur, and his first since he successfully defended his BMW PGA Championship title last year.
 His previous best finish in a tournament held in Asia and jointly sanctioned by The European and Asian Tours was tied sixth in the 2005 BMW Asian Open. 

It is Donald’s first appearance in a ‘regular’ European Tour event since finishing in a tie for third in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai last November, and he is returning to top form approaching an important stage of the season.
"The results in my first couple of events weren’t as I’d have liked, but last week there was a lot of improvement," he said. "I’ve felt a lot more comfortable with my game in the last couple of weeks, and had a lot more in control of the golf ball. I had a lot more chances and had a decent chance to defend my title.
"I came up a little short in the end, but the game feels like it’s trending in the right direction. We’ve got the Masters in a few weeks’ time and I’m excited about that.
"I’ve heard great things about the course here. It’s in great shape and has some good elevation changes. There have been a couple of really good winners here in the last couple of years – Louis (Oosthuizen) last year and Matteo (Manassero) a couple of years ago. So I’m excited to get out there."
The Englishman will be joined at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, in Malaysia’s capital city, by Major Champions Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, as well as Italy’s Matteo Manassero, who succeeded his fellow teenager Noh Seung-yul as the winner two years ago. 
Schwartzel, who has been in scintillating form so far this season, will be looking to improve on his sixth place finish in last year’s tournament.
Schwartzel said: “The Malaysian Open is definitely one of my favourite tournaments of the year. I love everything about Asia – the food, the people, the culture and the great golf courses. So I’m excited about going back to KL.”
+Picture of Luke Donald by courtesy of Getty Images(c).



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