Financial services company Maybank has withdrawn from its long-standing title sponsorship of the Malaysian Open golf tournament.
The event, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, has been known as the Maybank Malaysian Open since 2006 but organisers are searching for a new title sponsor for the 2016 edition.
Malaysian Golf Association president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said that Maybank was not satisfied by the response to three conditions set out over the terms of its deal. Mohd Anwar said Maybank wanted to engage Globalone as event promoter, although the MGA already had a contract in place with World Sports Group.
“Globalone, who attended the tender briefing on May 14, forwarded to MGA a letter dated May 25, confirming that they were unable to comply with the scope of services and the terms and conditions of the tender documents,” Modh Anwar said, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama. “Therefore, they were unwilling to participate in the tender exercise.
“At the closing date on May 25, two proposals were submitted by WSG and Parallel Media Group. Through the tender exercise, we appointed and signed with WSG. We have to continue working on it because we cannot reject our new promoter. That is the dilemma we are in now.”
He added that Maybank requested a February staging of the tournament at the Royal Selangor Golf Club. The venue and date for the 2016 Malaysian Open are yet to be announced.
According to Modh Anwar, the MGA and WSG are in discussions with several potential sponsors, with the aim of retaining at total prize fund of $3m (€2.7m). India’s Anirban Lahiri (pictured) won the 2015 event, which was run from February 5-8 as the Asian Tour’s season-opener.