Kang heads Malaysian Open list

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 January, 1999, 12:00am

Korea's Kang Wook-soon, who was the top money winner on the Asian PGA Tour last season, will attempt to topple European giants Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke in the US$750,000 Malaysian Open next month.

Kang won the final two strokeplay events on the 1998 Asian PGA Tour, the Hong Kong Open and the PGA Championship, to edge Malaysian Open defending champion Ed Fryatt of England in the race for the Order of Merit title.

Fryatt, who beat world number eight Westwood in a thrilling play-off last year, has also confirmed his participation in Malaysia, which is the second leg of the Asian PGA Tour and the fourth stop on the PGA European Tour. The event will be staged at Saujana Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from February 4-7.

Kang and Fryatt spearhead a strong challenge from the Asian PGA, which will also include Chinese number one Zhang Lianwei, Thai stars Boonchu Ruangkit, Prayad Marksaeng and Chawalit Plaphol, Korean veteran Park Nam-sin, Lu Wen-teh, Lin Keng-chi of Taiwan and home hopes Ali Kadir, Marimuthu Ramayah and Periasamy Gunasageran.

Japanese Tour regulars Frankie Minoza of the Philippines, Burma's Zaw Moe and Kyi Hla Han, and India's top player Jeev Milkha Singh have also been confirmed.

South Korea's Kang was top money earner in 1996 with cash winnings of US$183,787 and clinched last year's crown with US$150,771 in prize money. But his performances dipped alarmingly after his Tour triumph in 1996.

There are also places for Hong Kong players Dominique Boulet and Scott Rowe.