The PGA Tour visits the TPC Kuala Lumpur (formally the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club) as 78 of the world's best players head to Malaysia to compete in The CIMB Classic. Join our man posing as a caddy as he brings you the very latest on all the entrants:
CIMB CLASSIC | SS Golf 12th Oct: 01:00
Favourite: Justin Thomas 4/1
TOURNAMENT & COURSE OVERVIEW
The TPC Kuala Lumpur is based in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, and is one of the most spectacular courses in the southern hemisphere - a real beauty that combines a breath-taking design with a real test of a golfer's abilities.
The club originally opened in 1991 and boasts two courses, the East and West, both of which were designed by Nelson Haworth. Both have subsequently had a major overhaul, led by renowned course architects Parslow & Winter Golf Design back in 2006.
The CIMB Classic is played on the par-72 West course, is relatively short at 6,386 yards. The greens and fairways are wall-to-wall Paspalum Seashore Grass, with plenty of water hazards to trap the unwary player. Undulating greens and sharp climbs also await, and the course has been described as 'one for the intelligent player'.
The 'signature hole' is thought to be shared by Holes 3 and 18. Hole 3 is a par-4 which demands extreme accuracy from the tee, with two large, punishing bunkers to the left and trees lining the right. The large undulating green requires a precise approach if players hope to birdie here. The 18th is similar: a real testing finishing hole that demands aggression from the outset. The hole is very narrow, tree-lined and has dangerous bunkers and a pond protecting it. When described as a course for the 'intelligent player', hole 18 perhaps sums this up the best!
PRIZE POOL: $7,000,000 - the winner takes home $1,260,000 - not bad for a weekend's work!
WEATHER: Atrocious conditions, with high temperatues, high humidity and heavy rain perhaps making this a competition where punters will prefer to bet in-play.
List to make a tilt for the title!
Much is being made of favourite Justin Thomas (4/1) and there's no denying that the defending champion, who is going for a hat-trick of wins here and who is also the US PGA and FedEx Cup champ will be the man to beat when the action gets underway in the early hours of Thursday morning. However, despite his favourtiism, a quality field has been assembled and there are a few in attendance who will fancy their chances. So, let's dig down a little and we'll see if we can find a litt e more value elsewhere.*
Vamos! Yes, we're going to climb aboard the Bello-train! Regular readers will know the 33-year-old Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello has dug us out of a few holes in the past and we can see him taking to the course like a, well, like a matador in full flow. He was T10 here last year and has spent the last few weeks taking time to rest and recuperate. If he comes back fully-charged then we expect him to give the others a real run for their money, and at 33/1 he seems a fair each-way punt to us.*
Another who arrives with a decent rest under their belt is 33-year-old South African Charl Schwartzel. He's finished sixth here in 2012 and was 19th in his only appearance in the CIMB Classic. He'll also appreciate the format, with the threat of being cut eliminated from player's minds they will be more prone to attack the course. Throw in the weather conditions and Schwartzel has the temperament to prevail, as his top-five finishes in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Cadillac Championship and HSBC Champions shows. He likes tree-lined courses and if he doesn't show any ring rust then he'll be fresh for what promises to be testing, energy-sapping conditions. 25/1 suggests another each-way poke to us.*
Finally, Luke makes our List, again!!! The 32-year-old from Seattle is yet to make his maiden PGA Tour breakthrough, but he seems to be on the threshold of doing us that. One of the longest drivers on the tour, with an average of +300 yards, he'll adapt to Kuala Lumpur, which demands that power is blended with subtlety for the best results. He enjoyed the Safeway Open and only improved as the competition went on. Another with the potential to really go deep if he gets his putter working, List was third in the Shell Houston Open and second in the Sanderson Farms...At 66/1 Luke List is certainly worth an each-way dabble to break his duck and grab his maiden title.*
Whomever you decide to back, don't forget to follow us on Twitter (@stanjames) as we mark your card with all the latest updates: it's just like being on the fairway yourself!
ITALIAN OPEN- Preview and Tips: HERE!
- 2016 - Justin Thomas | 4/1
- 2015 - Justin Thomas | -
- 2014 - Ryan Moore | N/A
- 2013 - Ryan Moore | -
- 2012 - Nick Watney | N/A
- 2011 - Bo van Pelt | N/A
- 2010 - Ben Crane | 175/1
Whoever you're backing, don't forget StanJames are offering our famous ACCA Insurance on the Italian Open/CIMB Classic
*All prices subject to fluctuation. Make sure to check StanJames.com for up to date prices.
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