The Maybank Championship | 18 February – 21 February | Royal Selangor Golf Club
This time, around the East course will play host and a quick look shows that focus should be on accuracy rather than driving distance. Measuring just over 7,000 yards this tight layout will punish wayward tee shots severely, so those who have the ability to keep the ball on the fairway and out of trouble will be at an advantage. There are also a host of bunkers which come into play on almost every hole so the ability to save shots from the sand is key as is the ability to scramble, as birdies are tough to come by and saving par could easily be the difference between winning and losing.
Compared to the PGA Tour, things really aren’t looking all that good for the European Tour over the next month or so but with fields like this, there is always value to be found so keeping a close eye on the betting could reap rewards. So who will win this week? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Danny Willet: 11/1
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: 14/1
Thorbjorn Olesen: 14/1
Joost Luiten: 16/1
Louis Oosthuizen: 18/1
Joost Luiten (16/1 a win & 7/2 a place)
Joost Luiten was quiet during the second half of last year but he’s come out guns blazing this season and seems to be in control of every aspect of his game. This new found form has seen him finish inside the Top 10 more often than not, and I have the feeling that it is only a matter of time before Luiten walks away a winner. He hits more fairways than most and he’ll enjoy the shorter par 5’s found here so I’ll be backing him each way.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello (14/1 a win & 1/10 a place)
Sticking near the top of the betting, my next tip is an in-form Rafael Cabrera-Bello. After finding some form in the second half of last year, he went off the boil a bit towards the end of the year but he seems back to his best and is threatening to win any day now. Cabrera-Bello is a complete all rounder who looks like he has what it takes to go low on a course that could throw a lot of challenges in the way, you’d be foolish to ignore him this week.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (35/1 a win & 77/10 a place)
I’ve toyed with the idea of backing the Barn Rat each way every time he tees off and had I done so, over the past few years, I would have made a tidy profit but that ship has sailed and there’s no point thinking of what could have been. Be that as it may, Aphibarnrat is always worth keeping an eye on and despite the fact that he has been playing poorly lately he loves playing in Malaysia and could fair well on this layout. On his day he has the all round game to go low here and at this price I can't ignore him. Each way is the bet for me.
Louis Oosthuizen (18/2 a win & 4/1 a place)
On the face of it this looks like a contest that will see those currently leading the betting competing all the way until Sunday and if that is the case Louis Oosthuizen may be the one to beat. He has played a lot of golf in Malaysia over the past few years and has nearly always done well, especially when competing in Kuala Lumpur. A slump in form sees him available at a huge price, but this week I’m backing him to make a comeback.
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