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FedEx Cup points draw players to Malaysia

PGA Tour
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MOBILE, AL - NOVEMBER 10: Ben Barry of Tuscaloosa carries a stuffed Pink Panther on his shoulders as he follows Paula Creamer through her third round play in The Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on November 10, 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. Creamer is nicknamed the Pink Panther. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)  - 

The CIMB Classic’s new status as a full-FedEx Cup points event has delivered a predictable improvement in the quality of the Malaysian event’s field.

Thirteen of the top 30 players from last season’s FedEx Cup points list are in the field compared to nine of the top 30 in 2012, and 18 of the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking this week versus nine of the top 50 last year.

When asked at the Tour Championship why he was going to play the CIMB, Gary Woodland was as clear as a ticket to East Lake. “You get FedEx Cup points,” he said.

But a recent poll of players suggests it’s not only the PGA Tour’s season-long points race that has wooed players to Asia for the CIMB and next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions.

“I need to,” said Boo Weekley, who is 50th in the world. “This World Ranking stuff, I’m trying to keep myself in the top 60 or 50 in the world. I just figured if I got the opportunity I’d go.”

The top 50 players in the final ranking of 2013 receive invitations into next year’s Masters, and for players like Weekley the no-cut event guarantees valuable points.