KUALA LUMPUR: In the lead-up to the CIMB Classic 2017, CIMB Group is staging the CIMB National Championship formerly known as the SapuraKencana National Classic, on July 25 - 28 2017, at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Kuala Lumpur, Southeast Asia's first prestigious TPC-certified golf facility. The tournament – offering a total prize purse of RM200,000, with the winner taking home RM30,000 – will see nearly 100 leading Malaysian golfers in action to win a coveted place at the CIMB Classic in October 2017. Sanctioned by the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM), the tournament is now an official event on the PGM Tour and will count towards the PGM Tour's Order of Merit, which is the leading professional tour in Malaysia. "We are proud to host yet another platform to promote national interest in golf in Malaysia, through this much anticipated tournament which is also a qualifier for the prestigious CIMB Classic in October. As a title sponsor of CIMB Classic for the eighth straight year, our brand has become synonymous with the game in Malaysia and regionally, as we continue to deliver an exceptional golf experience for players and fans alike. We look forward to the competition among Malaysia's best in the CIMB National Championship as they showcase their full potential to win an exclusive spot at the 2017 CIMB Classic," said Tengku Datuk Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive of CIMB Group. Malaysia's top four golfers Gavin Green, Nicholas Fung, Danny Chia and Ben Leong will be playing in the CIMB Championship. Gavin Green is the defending champion and currently in the fourth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, while Nicholas Fung and Ben Leong have won tournaments this year on the Asian Development Tour. The CIMB Classic 2017 will return to TPC Kuala Lumpur from Oct 12-15 as the second tournament of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR schedule. Offering full FedExCup points, the CIMB Classic will feature 78 players - 60 from the PGA TOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor's exemptions, and will offer a total purse of US$7 million (RM30 million). Out of the eight sponsor's exemptions, CIMB Classic accords two spots for Malaysians. The second spot will be awarded to the highest-ranked Malaysian golfer on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as of Oct 2, 2017. If the winner of the CIMB Championship is also the leading Malaysian in the OWGR, the second spot for the CIMB Classic will automatically go to the next top-ranked Malaysian in the OWGR.