India's Jeev Milkha Singh, American Anthony Kim and Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng are included in a group of outstanding golfers that have been nominated for the prestigious JOHNNIE WALKER "Keep Walking" Golf Awards.
The annual Awards presented by JOHNNIE WALKER in association with The European, Asian and Australasian Tours, recognize the performances of professional golfers on Tour during the previous season.
A highlight on the golfing calendar, the Awards were created over a decade ago by JOHNNIE WALKER to recognize great progress achieved by golfers both on and off the golf course and reflects the philosophy of personal progress that lies at the heart of the JOHNNIE WALKER brand and is reflected in its "KEEP WALKING" campaign.
Inspirational performers Singh, Marksaeng, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese-Taipei and Thai Thongchai Jaidee have been nominated for the JOHNNIE WALKER Asian Player of the Year whilst Kim, Camilo Villegas of Colombia, German Martin Kaymer, Spain's Pablo Larrazabal, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Western Australia's Rick Kulacz have been named as the contenders for the JOHNNIE WALKER Young Player of the Year Award.
The four contenders for the JOHNNIE WALKER Asian Rising Star Award, presented to the young Asian professional who has shown the most promise, talent and commitment to the game of golf over the past 12 months, are Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, Koreans Noh Seung-yul and Bae Sang-moon and Ben Leong of Malaysia.
"Once again the contenders in the running to win our 2008 JOHNNIE WALKER "Keep Walking" Awards have performed at the highest level of the sport over the last 12 months and have shown tremendous talent, commitment and integrity," commented David Gates, Global Brand Director for JOHNNIE WALKER. "Each one of them has no doubt inspired others to overcome personal challenges and realise their dreams."
The winners of the three Awards, as voted by a panel of judges from The European, Asian and Australasian Tours and JOHNNIE WALKER, will be announced on Saturday, February 21, at the 2009 JOHNNIE WALKER Classic Gala Dinner in Perth.
With prize money of UK£1.25 million, the JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC, which takes place at The Vines Resort & Country Club in Perth, Western Australia from February 19 to 22, boasts a star-studded field of international players including nominees Villegas, Kim and Jaidee, and international stars such as the legendary Greg Norman, English trio of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and the 2009 Abu Dhabi Championship winner Paul Casey and popular Scot Colin Montgomerie plus a host of Asia's best golfers.
Past winners of the JOHNNIE WALKER Asian Golfer of the Year include Thailand's Boonchu Ruangkit in 1995, Kyi Hla Han, the Chairman of the Asian Tour, in 1998, Korea's KJ Choi (2002 & 2007).
Andres Romero of Argentina is the reigning JOHNNIE WALKER Young Golfer of Year, an Award that has previously been won by Luke Donald (2004), Adam Scott (2003), Justin Rose (2002) and Sergio Garcia (2001) whilst last year Lee Sung of Korea was awarded the JOHNNIE WALKER Asian Rising Star Award.