Sime Darby Berhad Extends Tournament Sponsorship as Defending Champion, Triple Major Winner and World No. 1 Inbee Park Confirms Title Defence
KUALA LUMPUR, 11 JULY 2013– Malaysian golf fans received their first taste as one of the nation’s favourite tournaments returns following the official announcement of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2013, to be held this October at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
Following the success of 2012, Sime Darby Berhad marked the announcement by confirming a further three-year extension to its tournament sponsorship, recognising the ever-growing popularity of women’s golf in Malaysia and the region. The new commitment ensures that the tournament remains on Malaysian soil until 2016, providing a tremendous boost to the game from grass-roots to elite level in Malaysia.
Speaking on behalf of the Sime Darby Foundation, YABhg Tun Musa Hitam said, “We are once again delighted to play a pivotal role in one of the region’s leading golf tournaments, the 2013 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Now into our fourth year as title sponsor, we are pleased to offer golf fans in Malaysia a treat of the world’s best in women’s golf competing here in the heart of Malaysia.”
“Our support of the 2013 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia goes hand in hand with our continued contribution to the development of sports in Malaysia,” added Tun Musa.
In addition to Sime Darby’s reinforced commitment to the tournament, organisers unveiled the first in what is sure to be a star-studded field of competitors – defending champion, Inbee Park, whose form in the first half of the year has propelled her to world No.1* status, while winning no less than 6 tournaments to date, including three majors, making her the second player in LPGA history to win the first three majors of the season. (*Official Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings)
In a special recorded webcast to Malaysian golf fans, the South Korean spoke of her excitement at returning to defend her title and her fondness of playing in Malaysia: “Looking back, last year’s victory was a real turning point on the road to World No. 1 – it was the first time I’d won two tournaments in one year, and gave me renewed confidence in my game going into 2013. I’m looking forward to returning to Malaysia, competing against the best in our field with some of the most welcoming and supportive fans we see in all our tournaments around the world,” said Park.
An integral feature of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is its continued support for the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), the official charity for the tournament. As part of Sime Darby’s commitment to raising awareness and tackling breast cancer across Malaysia, funds from the tournament will once again be donated to CARIF in addition to a number of initiatives involving players and fans in the lead up to and during the tournament. These include Pink Saturday during Round 3 of the tournament, when players, staff and fans are encouraged to dress in pink as a show of support for the fights against Breast Cancer.
This year’s tournament, which will take place on the East course at KLGCC from 10-13 October 2013, will feature the largest prize-purse this tournament has ever seen. At US$2 million, and following a second increase in as many years, the tournament is one of the most lucrative events on the LPGA’s Asian circuit. The highly attractive prize, acclaimed course and an ever-expanding local fan base will bring a stellar field of 72 players participating in the 72-hole stroke play, no cut event. The field will include the top 62 players from the LPGA Tour and 10 sponsor invites.
Michael Whan, LPGA Commissioner, spoke highly of the Malaysian event and its title sponsor, saying, “Last year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia was a fantastic showcase of the world’s top players in a region that continues to grow exponentially in its appreciation and support for women’s golf. With its world-class course, excellent facilities and welcoming supporters, our players are looking forward to getting back to Malaysia and putting on another great battle for the trophy in 2013.”
Grant Slack, Senior Vice President, IMG Golf said, “With Sime Darby’s continuing support, we’re returning to Malaysia with ever-growing confidence in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia’s ability to bring out players and fans alike, for four days of thrilling, highly competitive golf. The women’s game is at its most exciting yet, with a number of players vying for the top spot in the World Rankings and ensuring that every tournament could be anyone’s to win. The confirmation of Inbee Park’s return as both defending champion and World No. 1 is just the beginning and we look forward to welcoming fans back to the KLGCC this October.”
To view Inbee Park’s webcast see our tournament website at http://www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com/video-highlights.html.
For more information on the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2013, visit www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com; Tournament activities can also be followed on Twitter @SimeDarbyLPGA and on the official Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia.