After a fourth-place FedExCup finish and a tie for 10th in Vegas, Nick Watney took his momentum overseas, winning the CIMB Classic by one shot over Robert Garrigus and Bo Van Pelt. Watney racked up 11 birdies Sunday at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, putting himself on 59 watch late in the round.
The 31-year-old needed a birdie on the final hole to join the sub-60 club but took a bogey that took 59 out of play and put victory in doubt. In the final pairing, Garrigus closed birdie-birdie to get close while an identical finish would have put Van Pelt into a playoff. Instead, the Hoosier bridied the 17th but found a greenside bunker with his approach on No. 18. Tiger Woods rebounded from Saturday's back-nine 39 with a Sunday 63 that left him in a fourth-place tie with Brendon de Jonge and Chris Kirk at 19 under.
With tee times for the second round of the CIMB Classic moved up due to the prospect of inclement weather, the Golf Channel's live coverage has also been changed.
The broadcast will now begin at 10 p.m. ET and be expanded to five hours. Tiger Woods, who trails by three, will tee off at 10:10 p.m. ET in the Golf Channel's featured group with Jbe’ Kruger.
Troy Matteson leads after shooting a 63 and will play with Brian Harmon in the final group at 11 p.m. ET. Harman is tied with Jeff Overton and Robert Garrigus at 7 under.
CIMB Group strives to provide development opportunities for junior golfers in Southeast Asia through its association with the PGA TOUR and its title sponsorship of the CIMB Classic, the only PGA TOUR co-sanctioned event in the region.
In partnership with the PGA TOUR Academy, the CIMB Junior Golf Development Programme provides top-flight instructors to elite junior golfers across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand in a positive and fun learning environment.
Juniors have the opportunity to attend at least two golf camps and select participants are invited to the CIMB Classic to see the best golfers in the world compete. In addition, in 2013, CIMB will provide funding and opportunity for top juniors to participate in tournaments in the United States.
“I think what CIMB has done for junior golf and trying to develop junior golf here in this region is just fantastic,” Tiger Woods said. “We see these kids out here so enthused about the game of golf. It's about giving them a chance to make something of themselves. You can inspire people, but you've got to give them places to play and compete.
“I think that's what has been such a huge turnaround since the time I've been on TOUR is the growth of junior golf throughout all of Asia. It's just growing by leaps and bounds.”
The CIMB Junior Golf Development Programme also exposes participants to opportunities for career development in the golf industry and teaches them the importance of “giving back,” in line with the values of CIMB Group and PGA TOUR.
A total of 128 junior golfers between the ages of 12 and 18 years old were selected for this year’s CIMB Junior Golf Development Programme. The programme is fully funded by CIMB Foundation and has received the approval of the national golf associations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
By Shane Gillespie, Head Instructor, TOUR Academy , International Development
In 2010 when CIMB started its sponsorship of the first PGA TOUR event held outside the United States, it also made the commitment to help develop elite junior golfers within the region.
In the summer of 2010, the TOUR Academy sent two instructors to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to begin the CIMB Junior Golf Development Program. After three years of working with CIMB on this project, and after conducting 27 camps in four separate countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore), here are a few observations regarding the potential for future PGA TOUR and LPGA TOUR stars coming from Asia.
Yes, the talent within the region exists. In 2012 alone, players within the CIMB Junior Golf Development program include a 16-year old Indonesian boy who successfully made it through the local qualifier to take part in the Indonesian Masters -- a co-sanctioned professional event between the European and Asian Tours. A 16-year-old girl qualified and competed for four days in the LPGA event held here in Kuala Lumpur.
A 13-year-old boy from Thailand shot a 62 while competing in an International event in Las Vegas, and 15-year-old girl from Thailand won the Callaway World Junior by an amazing seven shots. When it comes to talent, there are plenty of talented golfers competing in this region.
However, some paradigms within the region do exist, and perhaps they need to be changed before we start seeing these players reach their full potential. Fortunately, CIMB’s program is working with players and parents to educate them on the importance of shifting the thinking within the region and to look for proven pathways of success. Here are some top areas of concern:
1. Turning professional much too early. Sometimes, as early as 15 or 16 years old.
2. Parents and young players who think that if they are winning tournaments, “Why should they change their swing ... or short game?” Unfortunately, many of these players miss out on the development of their fundamentals, and as they age, they find that they are no longer winning tournaments.
3. Playing college golf. While stars like Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikawa made it into the big leagues at 18, the vast majority of PGA TOUR players used the college golf system to mature physically and mentally as well as to further develop their golfing skills before heading out into the world of professional golf. It also prepared them for a career if they do not become one of the super-elite players who actually earn a living playing professional golf.
Each year I am amazed by the progress and improvement we are seeing from the players within the CIMB Junior Golf Development Program. While there is much excitement surrounding this year’s CIMB Classic, one can only imagine the excitement that would be generated by a hometown boy winning on the PGA TOUR, or a girl winning on the LPGA Tour.
Shane Gillespie is the Head Instructor of the TOUR Academy's International Development. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here .