PUTRAJAYA, Aug 6 2012 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak believes that Malaysia will continue to be among the region's leading destinations for professional golfers.
When launching the US$6.1 million CIMB Classic here today, Najib said he looked forward to playing with Tiger Woods, who organisers said had confirmed his participation at the event.
"I think the CIMB Classic will further underscore just how far our country has come to emerge as a major player in the international sporting arena," he said.
The golf tournament will be held from Oct 25 to 28 at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
Besides Woods, past winners Bo Van Pelt and Ben Crane will also feature at the event.
In an ESPN.com report, Woods was quoted as saying that he had not been back to Malaysia since 1999, "so that's one reason I want to go back".
It alluded to his victory at the World Cup individual title in Kuala Lumpur that year as well as the team title for the United States with Mark O'Meara.
"It's nice to go back to a place where I've already played and won," he added.
Najib also said that the government would give full support and commitment to the development of golf and golf tourism in the country.
He said the CIMB Classic also served as a strong signal that Malaysia had arrived as a major international sporting destination.
"I'm looking forward to this year's event...and hope to have an opportunity to tee-off with him (Woods)," he said.