Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and points for the Olympic race
By | Ricardo Fonsecca
After scoring for the world golf ranking (OWGR) and for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 in seven of the last 12 tournaments he has played, including two of the four he played in 2019, the pro Gaucho professional Adilson da Silva Belém Novo GC will have their biggest challenge from Thursday to Sunday this week, May 21-24, when they play the Maybank Championship at Saujana G & CC in Malaysia. The tournament for the European Tour and the Asian Tour, the two largest in the world after the PGA Tour, brings together 45 of the world's top 200 and will distribute $ 3 million in prizes.
The Maybank Championship will distribute points for the world ranking to the first 27 and tied, including 24 points for the champion. Adilson is already the 269th in the world, close to his personal record (215th), placing him in 58th place among the 60 who would play in Tokyo if the Games were today. The Olympic race began on July 1, 2018 and is close to its half. The final classified will be known on June 22 next year. No other Brazilian golfer besides Adilson - man or woman - would be ranked today.
South African Ernie Els, captain of the 2019 President's Cup International team and Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who will lead the European team at the Ryder Cup in 2020, at Whistling Straights are some of the highlights of the tournament. Together they have 102 professional wins from around the world (Harrington won the Rio Tour of the European Tour in 2000) and seven majors. Also playing the Danish Thomas Bjørn, captain of the victorious European Eurasia Cup team, against Asia, in the shape of the Ryder Cup, played in Kuala Lumpur in February. Malaysia was the first partner country of the European Tour at its co-sanctioned events in Asia, starting in 1999.
Spotlight – Indian Shubhankar Sharma, 21, who won the 2018 Maybank Championship, his second European Tour title in 13 professional contests, will try to be the first golfer in history to successfully defend his title from the country's biggest regular season Asian Tour. But there are a lot more prominent players such as Adrian Otaegui, 70th-ranked and best-placed on the pitch, along with New Zealander Ryan Fox, Swedish Alexander Bjork, Thai Jazz Janewattananond, Belgian Thomas Pieters, Australian Lucas Herbert, the South African Shaun Norris, the Spanish Jorge Campillo and the English Ross Fisher, all Top 100 in the world.
Other notable players include Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen, Chris Wood, Oliver Fisher and Andy Sullivan, Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez, Pablo Larrazabal and Alvaro Quirós, Japanese Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda and Yuki Inamori. Fabrizio Zanotti, South Africans Darren Fichardt and George Coetzee, Austrians Marcus Fraser and Bernd Wiesberger, Italian Edoardo Molinari, Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia, Swedish Robert Karlsson, Thai Thongchai Jaidee, Prayad Marksaeng and Chapchai Nirat.