KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- National pro Arie Irawan will join two fellow countrymen -- Danny Chia and Ben Leong in the upcoming CIMB Classic Golf Championship which will tee-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC), Bukit Kiara on Thursday.
Arie, 25, has been included in the US$7 million (RM29,771,000 million) tournament after emerging as Malaysia's second highest world-ranked golfer behind Chia in the Official World Golf Ranking as at Sept 30.
Chia earned his ticket to the tournament after moving into the top 10 of Asian Tour's Order of Merit, following a victory in the Taiwan Masters and a joint eight placing in the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, both held in Taiwan, early this month.
Leong, on the other hand, secured his berth to the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia co-sanctioned tournament after winning the Sapura Kencana National Qualifiers held at KLGCC in August.
Arie who has already bagged two titles this season; PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship in January followed by ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational in April, was delighted with the news.
"It is an honour and I am blessed to be given the exemption to play at the CIMB Classic, my first PGA Tour tournament and it will indeed be one of the highlights of my career," Arie said in the statement issued by the CIMB Classic Sunday.
"This will be a whole new experience especially competing amongst the world's top most golfers and I hope to play my best golf," he added.
In the same statement, CIMB Group's Asset Management and Investments Group Chief Executive Officer Effendy Shahul Hamid said he was proud to see three local players making their presence compared to two slots allocated for Malaysians in the previous edition of the tournament which was part of the season-long PGA Tour FedExCup competition.
"I am delighted to see home-grown players rising up to the standards, as a result of a lot of hard work and determination in their game. We wish all the best to Arie, Ben and Danny who will be carrying the Malaysian flag and pride this week," he added.
The CIMB Classic 2015, now in its sixth year, will feature a 78-player elite field, comprising 60 from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor's exemption.