In Form Wiesberger To Go One Better In Malaysia
Maybank Malaysian Open
After finishing tied for 2nd behind Lee Westwood here last year, Bernd Wiesberger is aiming to go one better than Maybank Malaysian Open this week…
This is the seventeenth staging of the Malaysian Open since it was co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, although the tournament dates back to 1962. The prize fund has been increased to $3 million this year and the field is a mixture of top European and Asian golfers. It’s worth noting that although no Malaysian has ever won it, three of the last eight editions have been won by Asian players.
At just 7000 yards, the course at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club is shorter than most and past experience suggests that accuracy and distance off the tee aren’t that important. Punters should look for golfers who are accurate with the irons and solid with the putter. Experience of the grainy greens is also valuable, as is an ability to cope with the humidity and rain delays. Downpours are a distinct possibility.
In The Bunker
Lee Westwood won this event last year, and heads east as the clear antepost favourite, following a top ten finish at the Dubai Desert Classic, but I think we can oppose him this week. A final round 72 that saw him slip down the leaderboard in Dubai was a slight concern, but his price is a more significant problem. At 13/2 he’s just too short, and there are others in equally good form, who offer better value.
Top of the list of alternatives to the favourite is Bernd Wiesberger, who has kicked off 2015 in fine style with a string of top ten finishes on the Desert Swing, culminating in a solid fourth in Dubai, where he led the field after a first round 64.
He finished second behind Westwood in Malaysia last year and at odds of 10/1, he is a solid bet to go one better this time round.
Graeme McDowell has set himself the goal of returning to the top ten in 2015 and he started the year in determined fashion in Dubai, holding on to finish in a tie for ninth after a strong start. This is his first attempt at this event since making the top twenty in 2008 and the course is new to him, but he has the game to do well there, and as arguably the classiest player in the field, he’s a stand-out price at 16/1.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Gregory Bourdy, who despite hitting a 66 to finish strongly in Dubai, is still available at a big price this week. That effort followed a solid fifth at the Qatar Masters and he will head to Malaysia with some confidence, having made the top twenty in this event on three of his last four visits, including a second in 2011. At 33/1 he looks good value.