Par 72, 7,005 yards
The PGA Tour travels to Malaysia this week for the CIMB Classic. This is the fourth time Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club is hosting the event and has also played host to the Malaysian Open on The European Tour for the last six years.
The event took place for the first time back in 2010 at The Mines Resort and Country Club in Selangor, which is located just outside Kuala Lumpur where Ben Crane was crowned the winner on 18 under par. Previous winners include Justin Thomas (2015) and Ryan Moore (2014 & 2013).
The course is a par 71 measuring a short 6,985 yards and has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s. The fairways are fairly forgiving so accuracy won’t be too much of an issue. The greens here are large, undulating and guarded by lots of bunkers so good scrambling will be required. Water is in play on 13 holes and will present some risk reward shots especially on the par 5’s and some of the short par 4’s.
Statistically, players that putt well and hit a lot of greens tend to go well on this course. The main areas of focus are current/previous form, GIR, strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained putting. The weather can make this course quite soft this time of year so expect the greens to be quite receptive.
Thomas had a good week in Silverado finishing T8 at The Safeway Classic which would have been a lot better if he made a few more putts. He had a good 15/16 season and finished well with three top 10’s in his last six tournaments. He played well at The Quicken Loans finishing T12 and didn’t shoot worse than a 70 throughout the tournament. He followed that with a T3 at The Travelers which included a superb final round 62 to post 12 under par in total. Thomas then went on to play well in The Playoffs finishing T10 at The Barclays and a T6 at The Tour Championship shooting rounds of 68,71,69,67.
He won The CIMB Classic here last year which included a second round 61 and a final round 66 to post 26 under par for the tournament. He clearly likes this course and could have another good week here.
Moore had a great week in Hazeltine winning two points from three for his US team. He beat Willett and Westwood 1 up with partner J.B. Holmes in the Saturday Fourballs and followed that with a stunning singles win over Lee Westwood on the Sunday and putted well throughout the week. He was playing well before the Ryder Cup with a win at The John Deere, T7 at The Barclays, T8 at The Deautsche Bank and a playoff loss at The Tour Championship.
He has a superb record in KL with two wins and a T10 in his last three starts here. Statswise he ranks 32nd in SG Putting, 29th in SG around the green and 14th in par 4 scoring. After taking a break after the Ryder Cup I expect Moore to have another good week here on a course that suits him.
Kevin Chappell 28/1
After taking a break since the Tour Championship Kevin Chappell will be fresh coming into this week and could be a player to keep on side. He had a good finish to the season with a T3 at The WGC Bridgestone, T8 at The Deutsche Bank which included a second round 64 and a playoff loss at The Tour Championship where he didn’t shoot worse than a 68 all week to finish second.
He has played well here in the past finishing 29th last year, 13th in 2014 and T25 in 2013. Statswise he ranks ninth in SG approach to the green and 13th in SGTTG which are two good stats for this course. If he putts well he could have a great chance to go well this week.
After opening round of 62 last week in Silverado, Piercy started in style and held the 18 and 36 hole lead going into the weekend. He fell away slightly over the weekend shooting rounds of 73, 70 which could have been down to the regular weather disruptions but ended up finishing T3 on 16 under. He had some great finishes last season with a T2 at The US Open, a solo second at The WGC Bridgestone, T22 at The Barclays and a T24 at the BMW.
Piercy played superb here last year opening with a 62 in round one and followed that with three 69’s to finish T7 for the tournament. Last week he hit just under 80% of GIR and ranked seventh in SGTTG and 26th in SG Putting. If he takes that form to Malaysia this week he could have a great chance here.
Final Selections –
Justin Thomas 14/1 1pt EW
Ryan Moore 14/1 1pt EW
Kevin Chappell 28/1 0.5 pts EW
Scott Piercy 40/1 0.5 pts EW
Total staked = 6 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,