Watney, Dufner to join Tiger in CIMB field

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Nick Watney captured the The Barclays during the FedExCup Playoffs.
September 24, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- With the CIMB Classic approximately four weeks away, commitments to the only PGA TOUR co-sanctioned event in Malaysia are beginning to roll in. Americans Nick Watney and Jason Dufner, who have just completed the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and will be competing on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, have committed to the field.

Watney and Dufner, ranked fourth and 14th respectively on the FedExCup, add to the commitments previously announced from Tiger Woods, Ben Crane and Bo Van Pelt for the event on Oct. 25-28 October at the Mines Resort & Golf Club, where players will compete for a total purse of $6.1million.

The CIMB Classic, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, will again feature 48 players, with 30 coming from the PGA TOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor's exemptions.

Dufner has enjoyed one of the most consistent and successful seasons on the PGA TOUR this year. His victories at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the HP Byron Nelson Classic put the Auburn University graduate in the thick of the race for the coveted FedExCup this year. Dufner led the FedExCup standings for more than a month, and has been inside the top 10 in the standings since late May. He played last year at the CIMB Classic, finishing T10.

"I am very excited to be returning to the CIMB Classic," said Dufner. "I performed well at the event last year and had a great experience visiting the country and the city of Kuala Lumpur for the first time. As a player who enjoys playing around the globe, I look forward to the opportunity to play in front of such enthusiastic golf fans. The PGA TOUR is continuing to lift its profile in the Asia-Pacific region, and I hope I'll have the chance to come back for years to come."

When Nick Watney won the first FedExCup Playoffs event at The Barclays at Bethpage State Park, it vaulted him from No. 49 in the FedExCup standings to No. 1. It marked the first time in 2012 that he had been in the top 10 in the standings since the 2011 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and gave Watney his fifth career PGA TOUR victory.

Watney's five PGA TOUR wins include the 2007 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the 2009 Buick Invitational, the 2011 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, the 2011 AT&T National and The Barclays.

With his win at The Barclays, Watney became the sixth player to win a World Golf Championships event and a FedExCup Playoffs event, joining Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods.

"This will be my first visit to Kuala Lumpur and I'm really looking ahead to the CIMB Classic. I've heard a lot of good things about the event and the area from players who went over last year," Watney said. "It's a great opportunity for me personally to learn about a new culture and for the PGA TOUR to help widen interest in the game and our TOUR in a part of the world that has shown it embraces the sport."

Sanctioned by the PGA TOUR, Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia, the CIMB Classic 2012 will see a top-class international field of 48 players competing for a $6.1 million prize purse, with $1.3 million going to the winner.

The tournament will feature 30 players from the PGA TOUR and the top 10 available players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit. Eight sponsor exemptions will make up the rest of the field, with two places reserved for Malaysian professionals. There will be no halfway cut for the event and as such all players will play all four days of golf.