Westwood seeks third #MMO title

Tue 03 Feb 2015

Westwood seeks third #MMO title

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Kuala Lumpur, February 3: England’s Lee Westwood aims to become only the second golfer to lift three Maybank Malaysian Open titles when he begins his title defence on Thursday.
Ryder Cup star Westwood romped to a spectacular seven-shot victory at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course last season, adding to his first triumph in the Malaysian capital in 1997.
His quest to match Australian Terry Gale’s hat-trick of wins will see him face a star-studded line-up in the US$3 million championship which includes the likes of Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Asian Tour legends Thongchai Jaidee and Arjun Atwal, who also have won twice in Malaysia previously.
It was lovely winning last year. I played really well the first two days and got quite a big lead. I struggled a bit with the heat in the third round but on the Sunday I played very solidly and don’t think I made a bogey to end up winning by seven,” said Westwood today.
“It’s nice to be back. I was only here just before Christmas for the PGA Tour event, so I feel like I’m really getting to know the golf course very well. I feel like a member.”
Westwood, ranked 30th in the world, is a prolific winner in Asia and last tasted victory in the region as recently as last December when he DSC_4829claimed victory at the Thailand Golf Championship which was his 42nd professional victory and seventh on the Asian Tour.
He began his 2015 campaign in Dubai last week, finishing tied ninth which he felt could have been improved if his putter had behaved itself.
I got off to a good start with a 65 in the first round. I was a bit unlucky on the greens over the next three days, but Sunday I made a good start – I was three under through five – but let it slip a little bit and had a double bogey on the ninth. That wasn’t great. Top 10 in the first tournament of the year is pretty good though,” said the former world number one.
“The course is in good condition again. The greens are very true. I like the course and it sets up well for me. There are some tight drives out there if you want to take it on with the driver to gain an advantage. I see the lines on the greens very well, so I’m impressed with it again.”
McDowell, playing in the Maybank Malaysian Open for the first time since 2008, hopes his renowned straight-driving game will see him win a first title of 2015 this week. He reckons family life could also help him secure more silverware as he seeks to add to his lone Major triumph at the 2010 U.S. Open.
“I’m really excited to be back. It’s been a while since I was here, I think I’ve played four times in Malaysia in my career and it’s always a fun place to come. I was pleased with how I played in Dubai so I’m hoping to kick on and have a good week here,” said the 35-year-old Ulsterman.
“I’m looking forward to checking out the course here. You have to drive the ball well, as Lee Westwood showed and Ryan Moore, who’s won twice here in the PGA Tour event.
“I think my focus is better than it’s been in a long time. I’ve got a young family and my personal life is in a really nice place and I’m really enjoying that. The balance of that is giving me the mental space to re-focus on my game again, and I certainly have things I want to achieve. Performances in the Major Championships are one of my key things this year,” he added.
DSC_4981Paul McGinley, who captained Europe to victory over the United States in the Ryder Cup last September, is also itching to get back into action following a knee surgery in December although he is keeping his self-expectations low at the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
“I only started hitting balls again 10 days ago, and today’s pro-am was my third round since the BMW Masters in Shanghai in November. So there’s not been much golf and therefore my expectations are pretty low. But I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to the week,” said McGinley, whose first visit to Malaysia was back in 1993.
“It’s nice that I’m still playing at 48 and still pretty competitive. I still enjoy it – I enjoy the playing and I enjoy the people. I don’t hit the ball far enough for the modern game, but this golf course is not really about distance; it’s about keeping it straight. What I’m trying to do this year is play courses which suit my game rather than the big wide open courses where the big-hitters have a huge advantage.”
This week is Maybank’s 10th year as title sponsor of the Malaysian Open, which was inaugurated in 1962.
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,400 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.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.
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 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 recognised as Number One and Two top golf courses in Malaysia for 2014 by US Golf Digest, 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), Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (Official Car), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview Golf (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).