Westwood feeling upbeat at Maybank M'sian Open

Wed 16 Apr 2014

Westwood feeling upbeat at Maybank M'sian Open

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Kuala Lumpur, April 16: Lee Westwood of England was in high spirits ahead of the Maybank Malaysian Open, which starts on Thursday, after finishing seventh in last week’s Masters Tournament.
His performance at the Augusta National Golf Club was his best of the season and he is confident he can continue that fine form at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club despite the long journey and a 12-hour change in time zone.
“My game’s coming along nicely,” said the 40-year-old Westwood. “I started working with my new coach, Mike Walker, about six weeks ago and I’m starting to hit the ball a lot better. I’ve got a lot more control, I’m driving it a lot straighter and distance control is coming back. I’m hitting my iron shots a lot closer, and my confidence is building all the time.”
Westwood is a former Malaysian Open champion, having won the title in 1997 and he has close affinity with Malaysia, a country where he used to be a touring professional.
“It’s been seven years since I last played in Malaysia and it’s certainly nice to be back,” said the Englishman, who has won 12 of his 40 professional titles in Asia. “I’d forgotten what a fun city Kuala Lumpur is and how nice the people are here,” said Westwood.
“Strangely, I remember more about 1998 than when I won in 1997. I came back as defending champion and lost in a play-off. I hit it in a tree with a driver off the deck. But the win was only my third as a professional, so it was important. I was picking up the winning habit quickly and never really got out of it. It was a good platform for me.
“I’ve had a lot of success in Asia but I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s the grass, or the heat, but I do tend to play well out here and I enjoy it,” added Westwood.
The 2012 Maybank Malaysian Open winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa believes his game is in great shape and he will be determined to bounce back from a ‘disappointing’ result at the Masters Tournament where he finished tied 25th.
“It was a disappointing week. I felt that I played a lot better than finishing in 25th place. You always learn something at Augusta (National Golf Club). My game is feeling good. I played nicely this morning. I think it will all come down to making putts here,” said the 2010 Open Championship winner.
Oosthuizen will be spurred on by the memories of winning the Maybank Malaysian Open two years ago where he was greeted by hugs and kisses from his young daughter on the 18th green after sinking his winning putt.
“It is always an advantage when you won on a golf course before. Not much has changed so you got to play well and get the ball in the hole! You definitely feel a bit more comfortable when you have won on a course before,” said the South African.
Italy’s Matteo Manassero hopes to relive the winning feeling of his success in the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open when he became the youngest winner of the prestigious event at the age of 17.
“I’ve been back every year since I won, and every time has been a great. I like this place, this event, this golf course and the atmosphere here. The people here really care a lot about this tournament and about golf, and you get good crowds. It’s really grown every year,” said Manassero.
He missed the halfway cut at the Masters Tournament and will need to overcome jetlag after arriving in Malaysia on Tuesday morning.
“The 12 hour time difference is really hard to handle. We arrived on Tuesday morning and we start tomorrow, so I think the first couple of days I’ll just be trying to hang in there and try to not fall asleep or switch off on the golf course. That’s going to be really important,” said Manassero.
Ends.
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,200 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.  The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf,www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships. We specialise in providing the full spectrum in sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line. We assist all our clients to create super-strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players managers to source the best players. GlobalOne currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment),  Astro (Official Satellite TV), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).