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Golf: Gallacher, Jimenez, Yang sign up for Maybank Malaysian Open

Stephen Gallacher will join Ryder Cup teammates Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson at the Maybank Malaysian Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

Stephen Gallacher will join Ryder Cup teammates Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson at the Maybank Malaysian Open. Photo: c/o Asian Tour.

January 30, 2015: European Tour stars Stephen Gallacher, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Robert Karlsson will compete in next week’s Maybank Malaysian Open, while YE Yang, Asia’s first male Major winner, will also be among the stars at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

 

Defending champion Lee Westwood and Ryder Cup teammates Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson – both in the world’s top 20 – headline the US$3 million event, which is again sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour. Gary Stal of France and Danny Willett of England will also be among the pre-tournament favourites following recent European Tour wins in Abu Dhabi and South Africa respectively.

 

Gallacher, the World No. 34, retained his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title last February for his third European Tour title before making his Ryder Cup debut in his native Scotland in September. Spanish legend Jimenez, 51, has 21 European Tour victories and is a crowd favourite around the globe.

 

Karlsson is a former World No. 6 and won the 2010 Race to Dubai, but fell to as low as World No. 287 by late 2013. However, the 45-year-old has climbed back up towards the world’s top 100 after regaining his form last year, when he finished sixth in November’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

 

Yang, 43, made history when he defeated Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA Championship, but lost his PGA Tour card at the end of last season after his five-year exemption ran out. Yang only recorded four top-25 finishes in his last three seasons on the PGA Tour and finished last year ranked World No. 608.

 

However, Yang has performed well in Asia in recent years, finishing sixth at last year’s Kolon Korea Open and third in the 2013 Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan, while in 2012 he was second in the Nanshan China Masters and third in the Korea Open.

 

Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the 2013 Maybank Malaysian Open champion, and India No. 1 Anirban Lahiri will lead the Asian charge, while other continental stars include China No. 1 Liang Wenchong, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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