CIMB Classic guide

A preview and stats for this week's PGA Tour event - the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC in Thailand

By Dave Tindall Twitter: @DaveTindallgolf.   Last Updated: 23/10/13 9:49am

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The bunker-filled 18th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

The bunker-filled 18th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Sky Bet

The PGA Tour breaks new ground this week with its first 'official' tournament in Asia.

Although this event has been staged three times before, and has largely been available for Tour members, this will be the first time that FedEx Cup points are up for grabs.

All three previous tournaments were held at The Mines Resort but this week's salvo is being hosted by Kuala Lumpur Country Club.

The location is already well known to golfers from the European Tour which has visited the venue five times before - including four years in a row from 2010.

The 22-year-old course first welcomed the European Tour in 2006 after which it underwent a major revamp.

Every blade of grass was changed ahead of the Malaysian Open's return four years later, although its layout and routing remained the same.

The changes added almost two strokes to the average tournament round score at Kuala Lumpur Country Club which will certainly be no pushover this week.

The layout is both interesting and undulating, with water coming into play on 13 holes. Par is 72 and it measures a fairly short 6,951 yards.

There is no cut this week so players have the chance to recover from poor starts.

PGA TOUR FORM

Last 10 Tournament Weeks

Player: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: - / 40 / 25 / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Aaron Baddeley: 9 / MC / - / MC / 43 / - / - / - / MC / -
Sang-Moon Bae: 31 / 53 / MC / 52 / MC / MC / 54 / - / - / -
Seuk-Hyun Baek: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Gaganjeet Bhullar: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Jonas Blixt: - / 59 / 4 / - / 58 / 53 / 51 / - / 51 / -
Keegan Bradley: - / 2 / 19 / - / 33 / 16 / 16 / 12 / - / -
Scott Brown: 61 / - / MC / - / 62 / MC / - / - / 3 / MC
Roberto Castro: 6 / - / 12 / MC / 25 / 9 / 15 / 9 / - / -
Kevin Chappell: 68 / - / MC / 73 / 15 / 22 / 62 / - / 46 / -
KJ Choi: - / - / 47 / 37 / 68 / 41 / - / - / - / -
Stewart Cink: - / - / MC / MC / 68 / 27 / - / - / MC* / -
Tim Clark: - / - / 68 / 26 / MC / MC / - / - / MC* / MC
Brian Davis: MC / - / - / MC / MC / 8 / 33 / - / 33 / 23
Brendon de Jonge: - / - / 33 / 52 / 19 / 9 / 18 / 18 / - / MC
Graham DeLaet: MC / - / MC / - / 2 / 3 / 28 / 28 / - / MC
Ernie Els: 21 / 48 / MC / 20 / MC / 20 / 51 / - / - / -
Harris English: - / 14 / 61 / - / MC / 27 / 50 / - / - / 40
Matt Every: 28 / - / MC / 5 / 9 / 62 / 39 / - / - / -
Martin Flores: MC / - / - / 16 / 54 / MC / - / - / - / MC
Rickie Fowler: - / 21 / 19 / - / 9 / MC / 39 / - / - / -
Nicholas Fung: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Sergio Garcia: - / 40 / 61 / 29 / 37 / 4 / 18 / 9 / - / -
Brian Gay: 73 / 63 / MC / - / 43 / 27 / 65 / - / MC / -
Lucas Glover: - / - / MC / MC / Wd / - / - / - / MC / MC
Retief Goosen: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / -
Bill Haas: - / 7 / 25 / 20 / 25 / MC / 28 / 24 / - / -
David Hearn: 44 / - / 47 / - / 72 / 35 / 28 / - / 21 / MC
Scott Hend: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Russell Henley: - / 27 / MC / - / MC / 62 / 39 / - / - / MC
Berry Henson: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Charley Hoffman: 16 / - / 40 / - / 70 / 27 / 68 / - / - / 4
Billy Horschel: 68 / 44 / MC / - / MC / 70 / 18 / 7 / MC / -
Charles Howell: - / - / MC / Dq / 33 / 53 / 39 / - / 33 / 5
John Huh: MC / - / MC / 3 / 15 / 22 / 49 / - / 70 / 30
Rashid Ismail: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Matt Jones: - / - / 40 / 5 / 33 / MC / 8 / - / - / MC
Shiv Kapur: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Jerry Kelly: - / - / - / 45 / MC / 53 / - / - / 57 / -
Chris Kirk: 21 / - / 57 / 65 / MC / 16 / 24 / - / - / 36
Jason Kokrak: 31 / - / MC / MC / 9 / 73 / 44 / - / 12 / MC
Anirban Lahiri: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Martin Laird: - / 48 / MC / - / 72 / MC / - / - / - / MC
Richard H Lee: 44 / 13 / - / MC / MC / 73 / - / - / - / 43
Marc Leishman: - / - / 12 / - / 71 / 16 / 39 / - / MC / -
David Lingmerth: 12 / - / MC / MC / Wd / MC / - / - / - / MC
David Lynn: - / 53 / 22 / MC / 19 / MC / 23 / - / - / -
Prayad Marksaeng: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Hideki Matsuyama: 16 / 21 / 19 / 15 / - / - / - / - / 3 / -
John Merrick: 6 / 19 / 47 / - / 50 / 53 / 18 / - / - / 65
Phil Mickelson: - / 21 / 72 / - / 6 / 41 / 33 / 12 / - / -
Bryce Molder: - / MC / - / 16 / 25 / 41 / 44 / - / 62 / 67
Ryan Moore: - / 33 / 55 / - / 25 / 75 / 11 / - / - / 9
Wade Ormsby: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Ryan Palmer: 31 / - / 47 / - / 66 / MC / - / - / - / MC
DA Points: - / 59 / 40 / - / 6 / MC / 57 / 26 / - / -
Siddikur Rahman: - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / - / -
Patrick Reed: 9 / - / - / Won / MC / 70 / 59 / - / MC / Wd
John Rollins: MC / 20 / - / MC / MC / MC / - / - / 46 / -
Rory Sabbatini: 12 / 7 / - / 8 / 13 / 53 / 11 / - / MC / MC
Kevin Stadler: MC / 32 / MC / MC / 43 / 4 / 33 / - / - / 30
Scott Stallings: MC / - / 55 / - / MC / 35 / 69 / - / - / MC
Kyle Stanley: 12 / - / MC / - / 50 / MC / - / - / 33 / MC
Brendan Steele: 68 / 4 / - / 11 / MC / 20 / 61 / - / MC / 57
Kevin Streelman: - / 59 / 12 / - / 19 / 41 / 33 / 24 / - / -
Chris Stroud: MC / - / MC / 37 / 33 / 35 / 51 / - / MC / -
Daniel Summerhays: MC / - / - / MC / 15 / 22 / 28 / - / 40 / 23
Josh Teater: - / 56 / 47 / MC / 72 / 62 / - / - / 51 / 70
Michael Thompson: - / 21 / 22 / - / MC / 53 / 62 / - / - / -
Nicholas Thompson: 28 / - / - / 72 / 50 / 22 / 44 / - / MC / -
Cameron Tringale: 44 / - / - / MC / 58 / 67 / - / - / MC / 43
Bo Van Pelt: - / 21 / Wd / - / MC / 53 / - / - / - / -
Camilo Villegas: 52 / 51 / - / 29 / 54 / 35 / - / - / 26 / MC
Jimmy Walker: - / - / MC / MC / 54 / MC / 11 / - / Won / 12
Nick Watney: - / 44 / MC / MC / 9 / 35 / 2 / 14 / - / 48
Bubba Watson: 21 / 27 / MC / - / 13 / 67 / 24 / - / - / -
Boo Weekley: - / 33 / 12 / 37 / 58 / 35 / 54 / 30 / - / -
Gary Woodland: 61 / Won / 74 / - / 2 / 41 / 18 / 22 / MC / -

MC* = Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

Course Key: 1 - Glen Abbey; 2 - Firestone/Montreux **; 3 - Oak Hill; 4 - Sedgefield; 5 - Liberty National; 6 - TPC Boston; 7 - Conway Farms; 8 - East Lake; 9 - CordeValle; 10 - TPC Summerlin

Note: ** - Montreux (hosted 72-hole Stableford tournament)

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: A course winner here earlier this season

FORM at KUALA LUMPUR COUNTRY CLUB

(Top-25 Finishes as a Co-Sanctioned European Tour Event - Malaysian Open)

Player: '06 / '10 / '11 / '12 / '13

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: - / 3 / - / - / Won
Seuk-Hyun Baek: - / - / 17 / - / -
KJ Choi: - / 2 / - / - / -
Scott Hend: - / - / - / 11 / -
Shiv Kapur: 18 / - / 13 / - / 22
Siddikur Rahman: - / - / 8 / - / -

LOWEST ROUNDS at KUALA LUMPUR (as a EUROPEAN TOUR VENUE)

62: Raphael Jacquelin (2006)
63: Soren Kjeldsen (2006)
63: Thongchai Jaidee (2006)
63: Mark Foster (2006)
63: Charlie Wi (2006)

Kuala Lumpur Country Club: Par 72; 6,951 yards

Winning Totals (Last Three Years as a European Tour venue):

2013: 203 (Kiradech Aphibarnrat) - 54-Hole Event
2012: 271 (Louis Oosthuizen)
2011: 272 (Matteo Manassero)

Conclusion

Jeff Overton: Can claim first PGA Tour success

Jeff Overton looks to have plenty in his favour here and is worth a punt at 50/1.

The American is still winless on the PGA Tour (he's a four-time runner-up) but this appears an ideal opportunity to break his duck.

Overton was second in this tournament two years ago and 16th last year so travels well and he's coming right into form after a 16th (Frys.com) and 9th (Vegas) in the two opening events of the new 2013/14 season.

One added little extra is that this week's putting surfaces are seashore paspalum - a grass rarely seen by US pros.

It's used in the low-key PGA Tour events in Puerto Rico and Mayakoba - ones the big names skip - and Overton putts very well on it.

He topped the Putting Average stats in Puerto Rico in 2012 and was third in the PA rankings in 2010.

If all the pieces click together, Overton could well be the man this week.

Having won the European Tour event here back in March and also taken third in 2010, Kiradech Aphibarnrat has to be worth an each-way poke at 45s.

The big Thai was fifth in Putting Average when he won and second in PA when third so clearly rolls his ball well on these greens.

Most recently he was fourth in the Asian Tour's CJ Invitational and, to prove his prowess with the shortstick, topped all the putting stats that week.

The big 'if' is whether he can still be competitive in this company.

Well, rewind to the US PGA this summer and you may recall that Aphibarnrat handled himself extremely well. He opened with a 68 to sit 11th after round one and added three successive 71s to post a top 25 finish.

That must have boosted his belief and he certainly has the potential for further improvement.

Finally, a few weeks ago I mentioned how Europe's victorious 2012 Ryder Cup team went on a winning spree after their Medinah glory.

So with Webb Simpson winning in Las Vegas last week, it could be a good time to get with members of the US's Presidents Cup team who triumphed at Muirfield Village a few weeks ago.

Simpson partnered Bill Haas in both fourballs (they won one and halved one) and it's the latter who appeals here as he was the dominant figure in those matches.

Haas played in this event last year and shot 65 -68-68 over the last three rounds to finish tied 16th and if performs the way he did in the Presidents Cup he'd be a big runner.

Capable of beating strong fields, Haas get the nod at 28/1.

Best bets

2pts e.w. Jeff Overton at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 45/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
2pts e.w. Bill Haas at 28/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)

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