THE European Tour returns to the Asian continent where the marvellous Saujana Palm Course, just outside Kuala Lumpur, holds the Maybank Championship for a second straight year.
The course is no stranger to the European Tour as it has hosted seven events over the past 20 years. Palm Course went under a re-design in 2015 when renovating all the greens.
It is regarded as one of the hardest courses in Malaysia with tight, tree-lined fairways and fast, small greens.
I tipped Peterson when he took part in the Joburg Open in December. Unfortunately, for me anyway, he only managed a eighth-place finish, but he didn’t play that badly with four-under rounds. His form previous to that and last week, when he won the Myanmar Open warrants him being selected again this week.
He has already won on the European Tour (the D+D REAL Czech Masters 2016) and has played a lot on the Asian Tour over the last few seasons.
It seems to be a route a lot of Americans take, Koepka, Lipsky and even Patrick Reed played a lot in Asia a couple of years ago. His win last week was his first on the Asian Tour but he has had a lot of top-10 finishes in Asia. I have no hesitation in picking him this week.
- *Driving accuracy: 65.8% (19th) GIR: 68.6% (64th) Putts per GIR: 1.81 (187th)
- **Driving Accuracy: 84.52% (1st) GIR: 80.56% (3rd) Putts per GIR: 1.74 (7th)
*2017 European Tour stats. **2018 Asian Tour stats
Frenchman Alex Levy has started this season with a bang. A seventh finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship was followed by a solo fourth at the Dubai Desert Classic so is coming into the Maybank full of confidence.
He also has previous here finishing fourth last year. Levy has won four times on the European Tour with two of those wins at the Volvo China Open (2014 and 2017) so Asia seems to suit his style of play.
With rain forecast for most of the week GIR could be a good stat to follow and Levy’s stats put him in a good position for this In his last two outings his GIR stats have been impressive and along with a new putter and putting coach it all seems to be going in the right direction for the Frenchman.
- Driving Accuracy: 58% (35th). GIR: 79.2% (2nd). Putts per GIR: 1.67 (4th) (2 tournaments)