FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas is looking for three straight wins in the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia this week.
Justin Thomas has won the last two editions of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and the USPGA champion will be looking to become the first player on the PGA Tour to win a tournament three years running since Steve Stricker achieved that feat in the John Deere Classic between 2009 and 2011.
A limited field of 78 players will tee it up at TPC Kuala Lumpur with Justin Thomas and World Number 3 Hideki Matsuyama the star attractions. But a number of other big-name players will feature. Paul Casey, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Branden Grace, Thomas Pieters, Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel are all on the start sheet.
Branden Grace swing sequence:
This will be the eighth time the CIMB Classic has featured on the PGA Tour. Ben Crane was the winner in 2010 and, since then, Bo Van Pelt, Nick Watney, Ryan Moore and Justin Thomas have been champions. In 2014, Moore successfully defended the title he first won in 2013. Last year, Justin Thomas made it two double wins in a row in the CIMB Classic. He won in 2015 and 2016.
TPC Kuala Lumpur was formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club but it joined the TPC stable of venues last summer. Originally designed by Nelson & Haworth and opened in 1991, the track was overhauled by Ted and Geoff Parslow in 2008.
The weather forecast for KL looks mixed with rain and thunderstorms a distinct possibility.
Venue: TPC Kuala Lumpur (West), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: Oct 12-15
Course stats: par 72, 7,005 yards
Defending champion: Justin Thomas (-23)
Thursday 12 – Sky Sports Golf from 3.30am
Friday 13 – Sky Sports Golf from 3.30am
Saturday 14 – Sky Sports Golf from 4am
Sunday 15 – Sky Sports Golf from 4am
Justin Thomas is obviously going to be heavy favourite but he will face strong competition. There are a number of European players who might threaten, three of those are:
Paul Casey – He was on brilliant form in the second half of the season but was unable to convert and secure a victory. This could be the week.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello – The talented Spaniard was tied 10th in this event last year and will look to improve on that this time out.
Ian Poulter – He’s been resurgent in 2017 with six top-25 finishes in his last eight starts around the world. He finished in the top-20 in this tournament in 2016.
Key hole: 14th. It may be only 358 yards long but, with a heavily bunkered fairway, and a tricky approach over a lake, it’s a hole that requires a careful and strategic approach.