The Malaysian Open became the first of these co-sanctioned Euro/Asian Tour events back in 1999, and during those 11 years it has proved the toughest for European raiders to crack. Despite always bringing a strong contingent, there have been only two European winners, Peter Hedblom and Alastair Forsyth, neither of whom could have been described as obvious.
Two particular explanations lie behind the trend. Firstly, while numerous venues have been used, hot and humid conditions have been the norm. Not only must Europeans acclimatise, but they must also learn the secrets of grainy, slow greens which only the Asian Tour regulars are used to.
Course and key stats
Kuala Lumpar GCC has been used before, but as it was completely redesigned after the 2006 renewal, study of previous course form is of minimal use. At 7,000 yards, this par-72 looks ripe for low scoring, which should place an even greater emphasis on mastering those tricky greens. With numerous additional hazards in play since the redesign, driving accuracy looks more important than power.
2pts ew WEN-CHONG LIANG @ 28/1 (GENERAL)
Odds of 28/1 about Liang in this region looks very fair, given recent evidence that the Chinese player is beginning to reproduce his best form further afield. Top 25s in the Sony Open and Dubai World Championship read very well at this lower level. Equally the Singapore Open field, in which Liang finished runner-up last November, had much greater strength in depth than this one.
1pt ew SCOTT STRANGE @ 50/1 (SKYBET, SPORTINGBET)
Strange first gained prominence as a golfer on the Asian Tour, and looks another who has been improving on the wider world stage. In addition to winning a title on each of the last two Euro Tour schedules, Strange played well in the World Match Play and enjoyed a decent winter campaign in his homeland. Previously, Strange had rarely thrived in Australian triple-crown events, so 12th at the PGA and runner-up in the Open could prove useful form markers.
1pts ew SHIV KAPUR @ 66/1 (GENERAL)
Though a missed cut on home soil last time was extremely disappointing, Kapur deserves another chance at these odds. He looked an improving player during the South African swing just before Christmas, and has plenty of Asian Tour credentials.
1pt ew WEN-TANG LIN @ 80/1 (GENERAL, 90/1 STAN JAMES)
Again, on the basis that there are few Europeans in this line-up with much form in this region, Lin is a crazy price at 80/1. He has been fairly prolific in both win and place terms on the Asian Tour for the last few seasons, and won his latest title only five starts ago. Most famously, Lin defied Rory McIlroy to win the 2008 Hong Kong Open, and recent top 25s in stronger co-sanctioned events were also respectable efforts.
1pt ew PETER LAWRIE @ 80/1 (GENERAL, 90/1 SPORTINGBET)
Whereas so many struggle to reproduce their best European form in this region, Lawrie seems to thrive in Asia. His last six efforts in these co-sanctioned events have all produced top-25 finishes, including three top tens. In any case, on a course where driving accuracy looks a key factor, 80/1 about Lawrie against this line-up would always rate a cracking value bet, whatever the continent.
2010 STATS: +27pts