The PGA Tour heads to Asia this week for the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Ryan Moore is looking to make it three wins in a row at the Kaula Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Rookies have won the first two events of the 2015-16 PGA Tour season – Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman. But that trend can’t continue in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur; the field is limited to 78 players and there are no rookies on the start sheet.
Although the European Tour’s Final Series gets underway this week with the Turkish Airlines Open, a number of Europe’s best will tee it up in Kuala Lumpur. Henrik Stenson of Sweden will be one of the favourites and Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington will also be looking for success.
This will be the sixth time this tournament has featured on the PGA Tour. Ben Crane was the winner in 2010 and, since then, Bo Van Pelt and Nick Watney and Ryan Moore have been champions. Last year Moore successfully defended the title he first won in 2013.
Incredibly, in both 2013 and 2014, Gary Woodland has finished as runner-up to Moore; he lost a playoff in 13 and was tied second with Kevin Na and Sergio Garcia in 14. What chance a Moore, Woodland 1-2 happening again?
The course at Kuala Lumpur G&CC was originally designed by Nelson Howarth and opened for play in 1991. But, the track was totally reconstructed for the 2010 Malaysian Open, although the routing and layout remained the same.
Rain is almost guaranteed to play a part in this week’s tournament, in fact thunderstorms are a probability. Look for play to be disrupted, timings re-organised and (possibly) preferred lies to be in operation.
Venue: Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Malaysia
Date: Oct 29 – Nov 1
Course stats: par 72, 6,985 yards
Defending Champion: Ryan Moore (-17)
Thursday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 2.30am
Friday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 2.30am
Saturday 31 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am
Sunday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 3am
Kevin Na – He’s been runner-up in the first two events of the 2015-16 season so is currently on good form. He was also second in this event last year.
Patrick Reed – He hasn’t had so far to travel as many of the US stars, having played in the Hong Kong Open last week – he did pretty well too, finishing tied third.
Paul Casey – Look for a big year from the Englishman. He finished last season strongly and was tied fifth in the Tour Championship and has had a decent break since then – he’ll look to come out firing.
Paul Casey swing sequence:
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.