Lump On Matsuyama In Lumpur – CIMB Classic Tips
A strong field will tee it up in the CIMB Classic which gets underway in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday morning at 01:00 GMT.
The CIMB Classic was first played in 2010 as a small-field tournament featuring the top 25 in the Fed Ex Cup standings, the top ten Asian players and a handful of sponsors’ exemptions, but has expanded significantly since then. It was the first ever Asian event sanctioned by the PGA Tour, and last year it was given official Tour status as part of the re-designed PGA Tour schedule.
The tournament was originally played at the Mines Resort and Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, but moved to the West Course at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club last year, a venue that has also twice hosted the Malaysian Open. At a touch under 7000 yards, it is short by PGA Tour standards, and is an undulating, parkland course that doesn’t offer too many challenges, apart from the humidity and risk of storms.
In The Bunker
Sergio Garcia has had an excellent year, capped by playing his part in yet another Ryder Cup success. But that was his last competitive golf action and after a month or so away, he may struggle to recapture the excellent form he showed throughout the summer and into the early autumn. It may take him a round or two to warm up and I think he can be opposed as the 10/1 antepost favourite this week.
Hideki Matsuyama has started the season in excellent shape.
He made the top three at Silverado in his first outing, his first top ten since Memorial in June, and followed up with a tenth-placed finish at Silverado last week.
He’s striking the ball well at the moment and finding the greens with consistency, and that breakthrough Tour win is surely not far away. Stick with him in Malaysia this week at 16/1.
Few players go into this tournament in better touch than Brendon de Jonge. He ended the 2013-14 season with a string of poor results that stretched back into July, and kicked off the new campaign with a couple of indifferent performances. But he hit form in spectacular fashion at Sea Island last week, losing out to Robert Streb in a three-way play off, a career-best performance that included a second round 64 and a final round 65. Back him at 33/1 to carry that momentum forward this week.
The final player to add to your shortlist is Kevin Chappell. He had a reasonably consistent 2013-14 season without ever coming close to picking up his debut PGA Tour win, but after missing cut at the Frys.com Open, bounced back last time out to crack the top ten at Sea Island, thanks to a final round of 65. He finished in the top twenty-five in Malaysia last year and can improve on that. Back him at 40/1.