PGA Tour

Phil headlines CIMB Classic

Phil Mickelson (AFP)
Phil Mickelson (AFP)

Kuala Lumpur - Four-times major winner Phil Mickelson will headline the US PGA Tour's $7 million CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country club in October, with organisers switching courses following another birdie fest last year.

The 78-man co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour was held at the Mines Golf Course last year but the short layout offered little resistance with American Nick Watney shooting a final round 10-under par 61 to win.

His 262 total was one shy of Bo Van Pelt's tournament record low when he won in 2011 on the same course.

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Both past champions, and 2010 winner Ben Crane, will join Mickelson in this year's field.

The Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country club has a history of hosting high calibre tournaments and has staged the European and Asian Tour's Malaysian Open for the past four years.

Organisers did not say if world number one Tiger Woods, who finished tied fourth last year, would return for the event which will count towards the PGA Tour's FedExCup for the first time.

"I think it's fantastic that the CIMB Classic is part of the FedExCup," Mickelson said in a statement on Thursday.

"It certainly drives the tournament's competitiveness and encourages the presence of American golfers in the region."

While prize money has increased from $6.1 million for the October 24-27 event, the presence of Asian Tour players remains limited with only the top 10 from their Order of Merit guaranteed entry.

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