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A power-packed line-up of Asian Tour stars, led by current number one on the Order of Merit, Marcus Fraser of Australia and Thai ace Thaworn Wiratchant, will go head-to-head with PGA TOUR players at the CIMB Classic later this month.
The top-10 players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit following the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi on Sunday earned their coveted places in the lucrative US$6.1 million showpiece at the Mines Resort and Golf Club from October 25-28.
Fraser will spearhead the Asian Tour challenge where the top-10 Asian Tour players have a combined 27 career wins on the region's elite circuit.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: "There is a wonderful mix of experienced stars and upcoming talents who have qualified for the CIMB Classic from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit.
"The likes of Thaworn Wiratchant, Marcus Fraser and Scott Hend have years of experience while Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, David Lipsky, Jbe Kruger, Prom Meesawat, Masanori Kobayashi and Siddikur are amongst our many emerging stars of the game. We are confident our players will compete well alongside our counterparts from the PGA TOUR," he added.
Japan's Masanori Kobayashi and Korean-American David Lipsky, both Qualifying School graduates and winners this season, will make their debuts in the CIMB Classic as with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri, Australian Scott Hend and Thailand's Prom Meesawat.
The other players who will tee up against 14-time Major winner Tiger Woods and other PGA TOUR players include Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, Bangladeshi Siddikur and Jbe Kruger of South Africa, who is presently second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Thaworn, 45, will be expected to challenge for the CIMB Classic title as he is the man in form. Last month, the Thai veteran collected a record 14th Asian Tour title with a commanding victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.
He has won two other tournaments in Malaysia â€“ the 1996 Sabah Masters and 2001 Volvo Masters of Malaysia â€“ but a triumph at the CIMB Classic later this month would be the best yet in his highly decorated career.
Big-hitting Bhullar won the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei last month after holding off Thaworn in a thrilling duel for his third Asian Tour title while Kruger, who finished tied 28th in last year's CIMB event, claimed a breakthrough victory on the Asian Tour at the Avantha Masters in India earlier this season.
Kobayashi was triumphant on home soil at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open while Lahiri (SAIL-SBI Open), Lipsky (HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic) and Hend (ISPS Handa Singapore Classic) have also stepped onto the winner's rostrum this year.
Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour, will make his second appearance in the CIMB Classic. One of Asia's most consistent performers, he stood out in the inaugural event in 2010 at the Mines Resort by finishing tied 11th.
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