The PGA Tour makes a rare trip away from American shores this week for the CIMB Classic at The Mines Resort & Golf Club in Malaysia. Bo Van Pelt is the defending champion.
This is a limited field PGA Tour event, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Just 48 players will tee it up, the top 30 available from the final FedEx Cup standings, the top 10 available from the Asian Tour order of merit and eight sponsor’s invitations.
There’s significant prize-money on offer with $1.3 million going to the winner. There’s also no cut, so everyone who starts is in line for a reasonable cheque at the end of the week.
In 2011 it was Bo Van Pelt who took the title here and he will come into this year’s event with high spirits after winning the ISPS HANDA Perth International tournament last week.
World Number two Tiger Woods is on the start list and he’s set to be a huge draw. It’s hoped his participation will go a long way to expanding the game of golf in this part of Asia.
The course at the Mines Resort is by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and is constructed on a former tin mine. It was opened for play in 1993. A huge, 150-acre, lake is a key feature and it comes into play on a number of holes.
The Mines Resort and Golf Club is no stranger to hosting significant competition. It was the venue for the World Cup of 1999, the women’s World Cup in 2000 and the Malaysian Open in 2003.
This is the third running of this event and it’s one that tends to produce low scoring. It has ranked as the easiest and third easiest par 71 layout on the PGA Tour in the last two years. Watch out for a birdie blitz here this week.
Venue: The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: October 25-28
Course stats: par 71, 6,966 yards
Purse: $6,100,000 Winner: $1,300,000
Defending Champion: Bo Van Pelt (-23)
Thursday 25 – Sky Sports 1 from 9.30am
Friday 26 – Sky Sports 1 from 9.30am
Saturday 27 – Sky Sports 1 from 9.30am
Sunday 28 – Sky Sports 2 from 8.30am
Bo Van Pelt – Last year’s and last week’s winner must be highly fancied for this event. He showed good form through the FedEx Cup events too, so his performance last week was no flash in the pan.
Brendon de Jonge – The Zimbabwean has been on great form in recent weeks and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue this week. He’s been in the top-five in his last two starts and threatened to take a win. This could be the week he does it.
Nick Watney – Having missed out on the Ryder Cup, Watney will probably look back on 2012 as a slightly disappointing season. But he won the Barclays and he’ll be desperate to secure another victory here. If he can get his putter working, it could be a possibility.
Key Hole: 17th. A par 5 of just 523 yards, this is a hole that’s reachable in two for most, if not all, of the players in the field. The drive must find a plateau fairway then the approach must also fly all the way to an elevated green. There should be some eagles on this one.
European Tour – BMW Masters preview