The European Tour stays in Asia this week for the Maybank Malaysian Open. The Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club is set amongst the Bukit Kiara hillside some 5 miles from the heart of Kuala Lumpur and was originally designed by Robin Nelson in 1991. Since then the course has gone through a recent redesign which was undertaken by Parslow and Associates who extensively reconstructed the layout over a period of eighteen months.
The new West Course reopened for play in October 2008 with the East course opening two years later in 2010. It’s a golf course that rewards the shot-maker and gives fantastic views of the hole you are playing and the surrounding scenery it sits in.
The undulating fairways offer plenty of shot options into the greens and where water comes into play on thirteen of the eighteen holes, with an additional lake on the ninth hole.
My tips to win
One of this week’s favourites will be Louis Oosthuizen 12/1 who started the Masters in great form but his two middle rounds of 75 took him out of contention, but what it did show is that the South African has recovered from his back injury. Louis won this event back in 2012 and has another top 10 finish in the event when it was played over the Saujana Golf and Country Club course. Oosthuizen obviously enjoys playing in this part of the world and I expect him to be in one of the final pairings come Sunday.
It has been good to see Rafa Cabrera-Bello 20/1 come back into form and with another Top 5 finish at the Trophée Hassan ll, taking his tally of three Top 5s from five events on this year’s European Tour. Rafa has two Top 5 finishes in this event over the last three years. It’s now been a couple of years since Cabrera-Bello won the Dubai Desert Classic hopefully the wait for another European tournament win will end this week.
Another player who seems to enjoy the Kuala Lumpur Country Club course is Italian Matteo Manassero 20/1 who has a win and two Top 20 finishes in the last three years. It’s not been the greatest of years for the lad from Verona and he will want to get his second round 81 at last week’s Masters out of his system and what better place to come and play than on a track you feel comfortable on and get back to winning ways.
My each-way tips:
Kradech Aphbapnrat 30/1 started last season very well with a win in this event and wasn’t outside the Top 20 for his first five starts, but the rest of the season seemed to get away from him and this season has started in the same vain. But I think it is hard to discount the defending champion especially when he had a third place finish here when the PGA Tour played over this same course for the CIMB Classic.
Richie Ramsay 40/1 had a runners-up finish at the NH Collection Open two weeks ago before the European Tour took a break for the Masters. Richie hasn’t been outside the Top 20 in his last three events and has steadily moved up the leaderboard, if he is to keep that progression going then he would have to win here this week.
My outside tip:
I did tip Richardo Santos 100/1 at the NH Collection Open a few weeks ago where he made the Top 10 but this opening and closing rounds let the Portuguese player down. I did say then that although he hadn’t started the season well I felt he has the game to get back challenging and I am sure that Top 10 finish will be the confidence boost he needs.
For updated betting odds go to planetgolfreview.com