For the first time ever, FedExCup points will be on the line at a PGA Tour event in Asia. The 2013 CIMB Classic tees off Wednesday night in the United States, but 7:30 a.m. local time at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. The field is a mix of lower category PGA Tour players, Asian stars and American stars who may be getting some appearance fee cash on the side.
Phil Mickelson is the headliner for the week, playing alongside Nick Watney and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, a world-class player from Thailand who has showed well in some of the biggest American events. Mickelson announced this week that he would be paring down his schedule for next season, a not-unexpected move from the aging star who is playing for majors and legacy at this point, not money or FedExCup status. He wasn't clear on exactly which events would be getting the cut from his schedule, but it's definitely a plus for the Tour to get him overseas promoting this stop in Malaysia.
Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia are some of the other stars in attendance this week, and they should all be featured late night on the broadcast from Golf Channel. This is the third event of the PGA Tour's new wraparound schedule, which awards full FedExCup points and a Masters invite at fall series events that previously went unnoticed. The experiment of starting the season the previous year, and not in January in Maui, is still in its early stages but the added prestige of points and a spot at Augusta can't be a bad thing for some of the game's lesser names. And given the setting overseas, Tim Finchem should be relatively pleased with the turnout this week.
Kuala Lumpur is 12 hours ahead of the United States EST, so the first ball will be struck at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the States. Golf Channel will continue its coverage of the early season wraparound schedule, coming on the air at 10:30 p.m. ET for the pregame show and starting coverage of live golf at 11 p.m. The broadcast is scheduled to run until 2:30 a.m. for the first two rounds into Thursday and Friday in the U.S.
Here's the full tee sheet for Thursday (Wednesday night's) opening round. The smaller field means there won't be two separate morning and afternoon waves, with threesomes rolling off split tees in 10-minute increments.
Going off No. 1 tee:
|7:30 p.m.||Tringale, Cameron||Lynn, David||Fung, Nicholas|
|7:40 p.m.||Woodland, Gary||Streelman, Kevin||Sabbatini, Rory|
|7:50 p.m.||Bradley, Keegan||Watson, Bubba||Rahman, Siddikur|
|8:00 p.m.||Walker, Jimmy||Els, Ernie||Hend, Scott|
|8:10 p.m.||Van Pelt, Bo||Matsuyama, Hideki||Baek, Seuk-hyun|
|8:20 p.m.||Villegas, Camilo||Thompson, Nicholas||Lingmerth, David|
|8:30 p.m.||Davis, Brian||de Jonge, Brendon||Henson, Berry|
|8:40 p.m.||Reed, Patrick||Merrick, John||Moore, Ryan|
|8:50 p.m.||Laird, Martin||Points, D.A.||Brown, Scott|
|9:00 p.m.||Weekley, Boo||Thompson, Michael||Goosen, Retief|
|9:10 p.m.||Gay, Brian||Leishman, Marc||Kirk, Chris|
|9:20 p.m.||Stroud, Chris||Castro, Roberto||Marksaeng, Prayad|
|9:30 p.m.||Jones, Matt||Overton, Jeff||Ismail, Rashid|
Going off No. 10 tee:
|7:30 p.m.||Kelly, Jerry||Chappell, Kevin||Hearn, David|
|7:40 p.m.||Stallings, Scott||Huh, John||Hoffman, Charley|
|7:50 p.m.||Horschel, Billy||Glover, Lucas||Cink, Stewart|
|8:00 p.m.||Henley, Russell||Stanley, Kyle||Choi, K.J.|
|8:10 p.m.||Molder, Bryce||DeLaet, Graham||Every, Matt|
|8:20 p.m.||Rollins, John||Stadler, Kevin||Kapur, Shiv|
|8:30 p.m.||Palmer, Ryan||Flores, Martin||Lahiri, Anirban|
|8:40 p.m.||Steele, Brendan||Baddeley, Aaron||Summerhays, Daniel|
|8:50 p.m.||Blixt, Jonas||Haas, Bill||Howell III, Charles|
|9:00 p.m.||Mickelson, Phil||Watney, Nick||Aphibarnrat, Kiradech|
|9:10 p.m.||Garcia, Sergio||Fowler, Rickie||Bhullar, Gaganjeet|
|9:20 p.m.||English, Harris||Bae, Sang-Moon||Clark, Tim|
|9:30 p.m.||Teater, Josh||Lee, Richard H.||Ormsby, Wade|