Mickelson commits as CIMB Classic moves to Kuala Lumpur


When the CIMB Classic becomes the first-ever FedEx Cup event in Asia later this year, it will do so from a new venue – and with one of the game's biggest stars highlighting its field.

After spending the last three years at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, the PGA Tour announced Thursday that the event will shift to Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club for this year's event, to be held Oct. 24-27. As the third tournament of the new 2013-14 PGA Tour season, it will award a full allotment of FedEx Cup points to the 78 players in the field, as well as a two-year PGA Tour exemption to the winner.

'The CIMB Classic is now a marquee event on the PGA Tour calendar,' said Dato' Sri Nazir Razak, group chief executive of the CIMB Group as part of a media release. 'KLGCC is a venue that will give us the scale we need to take it to the next level.'

In conjunction with the venue shift, the tournament also announced several high-profile players that have committed to the event. Topping that list is Phil Mickelson, who will tee it up in Malaysia for the first time in his career.

'I've heard great things about Kuala Lumpur and the CIMB Classic from the guys who played there,' explained Mickelson as part of the release. 'I think it's fantastic that the CIMB Classic is part of the FedEx Cup.'

In addition to Mickelson, each of the three prior CIMB champions will also participate this October: Ben Crane, the tournament's inaugural champion in 2010, Bo Van Pelt, who won in impressive fashion in 2011, and defending champion Nick Watney.

With the move to the FedEx Cup season, the event's purse has been increased from $6.1 million to $7 million. The 78-man field will include 60 PGA Tour players and 10 Asian Tour players, with the final eight spots reserved for sponsor's exemptions, two of which will go to Malaysians.