By Jugjet Singh
LUKE Donald, fresh from winning the Ryder Cup with Europe, feels the US$6 million (RM18.5 million) CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, which tees of tomorrow at the Mines Golf and Country Club, is the perfect platform for United States-based golfers to feel the Asian heat.
And Donald hopes the heat will not let up as big golf tournaments are sprouting up everywhere nowadays.
"This is my first visit to Malaysia and I played the front and back nines at the Mines and found the course very well laid out," said Donald, who is from England.
"I have enjoyed the hospitality and feel welcome in Malaysia and hope this will continue next year because there are many new tournaments to choose from. It would be a pity if such a nice set-up ends up in the shadows."
"This is also the perfect platform for US-based players to play alongside the best in Asia, and I believe both parties would benefit from this joint venture," added the World No 8.
Donald was part of the European team who beat the United States by one point in the recent Ryder Cup.
In 2004, he won the Omega European Masters and the Scandinavian Masters on the European Tour. In the same year he was a member of the victorious European Ryder Cup team and also won the WGC-World Cup for England in partnership with Paul Casey.
"I have played in three Ryder Cups and the pressure is unbelievable each time. But it prepares one for the next tournament, and if I am in contention for the title on Sunday, I would know what to do," said Donald.
Donald, along with Tom Watson, was one of two players to play with Jack Nicklaus in the final two rounds of golf in his career, at the 2005 Open Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews.
In May, Donald won the Madrid Masters by one shot for his first title in four years.
"It has been a while because after I injured my wrist in 2004, there was much rehabilitation and picking up to do. I won in Madrid, and then the Ryder Cup and, hopefully, the momentum picks up from here."