Harrington, Montgomerie confirmed for Johor Open

Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie have confirmed their entries for the US$1.25mil Iskandar Johor Open, which will be held at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club from Oct 14-17.

They join defending champion K.J. Choi of South Korea and 2008 winner Retief Goosen from South Africa.

“The field for the Open is shaping up impressively with the confirmation of Harrington and Montgomerie,” said organising chairman and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman yesterday.

“With Choi and Goosen already set to rekindle their rivalry, this surely is going to be one of the most exciting weeks of golf in Malaysia.”

Harrington, who will turn 39 on Aug 31, is no stranger to Malaysian golf fans – having played in the Malaysian Open for a number of years. His most notable finish in Malaysia was in 2001 when he lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh.

Since then, the Irishman has gone on to greater heights, capturing three Majors, including consecutive British Open titles in 2007 and 2008, making him the first European since James Braid in 1906 to successfully defend the Open.

Harrington went on to create another slice of golf history with his victory in the PGA Championship at Okland Hills in 2008, which made him the first European to win the Wanamaker Trophy since Scotland’s Tommy Armour in 1930.

“I’ve played in Malaysia a number of times but never in Johor and I’m thrilled with the prospect of playing against some of the world’s best players in the Iskandar Johor Open,” said world No. 18 Harrington.

“It has been a few years since I last played in Malaysia and I’m looking forward to returning to the country, which holds many fond memories for me.”

Montgomerie will also be making his first appearance in Johor. With 31 European Tour victories, he is certainly one of the world’s most successful players.

“It will be delightful to tee-up against top players like Padraig, Retief and K.J. as well as playing alongside many of the Asian Tour’s top talent right after the Ryder Cup.

“I certainly look forward to an exciting week in Johor this October,” he said.