The Malaysian Open is nowhere to be seen on the European Tour schedule this season but fear not, there is top quality golf to be enjoyed in Malaysia in the shape of the Maybank Malaysia Championship held in Kuala Lumpur this week. The event sponsors have long been associated with golf in the country and they look to have put their money where their mouth is to try and attract some high calibre players.
Danny Willett heads the betting this week and at number three in the Race to Dubai rankings he is clearly in good form. While the Englishman is the man to beat according to the bookies he is sure to come in for some serious competition around the Old Course at Royal Selangor Golf Club. The 7,079 yard course is a par 71 where the main defences are largely based around accuracy. There are some strong par threes and a couple of long par fours but generally this is a place where distance is of less importance than accuracy. The winner of this tournament is going to have to hit the majority of the fairways to give themselves a chance of placing the ball on the right parts of the greens.
Willett is going to be a force here once again but his stats in terms of driving accuracy and greens hit in regulation are not towards the top of the rankings on the European Tour so far this season so there are other options worth backing. The first of these is Rafael Cabrera Bello. The Spaniard is one of the most accurate players teeing it up at the Old Course this week and whatever he’s been working on at the range recently has clearly made a difference. The 31-year-old finished in a tie for second place in both his last two starts and with a game which look well suited to this course he could go one better than that and win his first European Tour event since 2012 at 22/1 with BetVictor.
Matthew Fitzpatrick is another player who is well fancied going into this week. The young Englishman took to life on the European Tour very well in his first season when he picked up more top 10 finishes than any other player. Life has been a bit tougher for 21-year-old this season but he is a pretty unflappable character who knows what it takes to win at this level. Fitzpatrick is going to have a big year ahead with a potential spot in Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup team and he could kick it all off with a win in Malaysia at a top price of 28/1 with Coral.
S.S.P. Chowrasia could be the player to back if you are looking for a longer odds shot for the Maybank Championship Malaysia. The 37-year-old Indian has two European Tour wins and although both of them came in his home country he has the style of game to do well in Kuala Lumpur. He’s an accurate player who will hit the majority of the greens and is worth a small bet at 125/1 with Betfred.