Westwood hoping to continue eastern success in Malaysia
Lee Westwood is in confident mood this week as he attempts to claim a first European Tour victory in three years at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia, a country in which he has won twice in his career including his most recent title in 2014.
The Englishman, a ten-time Ryder Cup player, has also in the past triumphed over this week’s venue Saujana Golf and Country Club – in a non-European Tour sanctioned event – while three years ago he marched to a seven-stroke victory just 15km away.
That, paired with a strong start to the 2017 season in the Middle East, has filled Westwood with confidence as he joins a strong field which also includes his countryman and Masters champion Danny Willett, as well as another green jacket holder Charl Schwartzel.
Defending champion Marcus Fraser, meanwhile, makes his first appearance of the calendar year having finished 2016 with a top ten finish at last December’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
Lee Westwood: “Honestly I don’t remember a lot about the win here 20 years ago. I just remember winning and being associated with Saujana for two or three great years in the middle of the 90s. I actually lost here in a play-off in 1998 after the win in 1997 so I almost won back to back.
“Obviously then I won here in Malaysia three years ago so I love the place, and it’s nice to be back. I’m looking forward to a good week, I seem to play well in South East Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, those hot places and I’m looking forward to getting going and getting off to a fast start and getting into contention.
“I’ve played well in the first couple of tournaments of the season, eighth in Abu Dhabi, 23rd last week even though I was the wrong side of the draw, so my game’s in pretty good shape. If you asked me to point out a weakness in my game at the moment I’d be struggling to say one.”
Tournament: Maybank Championship
Venue: Saujana Golf & Country Club
Prize fund: $3,000,000
Source: European Tour Press Release
Photo: Getty Images