THE par-72 Palm Course, at the Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, hosts the Maybank Championship this week.
In its 31-year history the course has hosted the now departed Malaysian Open seven times. Set on an old palm oil plantation it's hilly but the fairways are quite generous with the greens small and fast. Greens in regulation is the stat I’ll be concentrating on with a sideways glance at putts per GIR.
Apart from his missed cut at the Dubai Desert Classic, where the wind took its toll on the Friday of a lot for players, Kiradech Aphibarnrat had a T9 and a T4 at the Qatar Masters and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. In those two tournaments he looked strong. In 2013 he won the Malaýsian Open on this course and finished third when defending his title a year later. He has a GIR of 67.5 and putts per GIR of 1.733.
One man who has started the season strongly is South African Thomas Aitken. In his five outings he has finished in the top five three times. One of the best iron players on Tour and last season finished first in GIR. His putting has always been his weakness but this year he has improved this by a shot a round. He has also improved his GIR to 1.779 and is leading the GIR stats with 72.9%. Certainly worth a look.
1.5pts ew Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Betfred, 30-1)
1.5pts ew Thomas Aitken (William Hill, 33-1)