By Michael McGill

The action this week heads to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the third running of the CIMB Classic at The Mines Resort and Golf Club.

Built upon an old open cast tin mine the course is a Par 71, measuring 6,966 yards. The waste land has now transformed into a stunning resort and golf club.

The Purse this week is US$6.1 million with the winner taking home US$1.3 million.

There is a field of 48 players teeing it up this week in what should be a birdiefest. Expect to see low scoring with players enjoying the surroundings.

Putting on the greens should not cause to many issues as they will be nice and moist due to the constant humidity that can be expected in Malaysia. This will allow for aggressive play when going for the green.

The winner last year was Bo Van Pelt who won with a score of -23. He pulled away from the field to win by a comfortable six shots. He is back to defend his title this week. 2010 Champion Ben Crane is also in the hunt to win his second title here.

It is also worth noting that Bo arrives in Malaysia on the back of a victory at the Perth International in Australia last weekend.

The field this week also consists of ten players who have won the PGA Tour this year with the likes of Kyle Stanley, John Huh, Carl Pettersson, Bill Hass and Nick Watney.

The Top 5 in betting this week are:

3/1 Tiger Woods, 8/1 Bo Van Pelt, 9/1 Jason Dufner, 19/1 Nick Watney and 25/1 Seung-Yul Noh.

2010 Champion Ben Crane is 28/1 while 2011 runner-up Jeff Overton is 25/1.

While Tiger Woods has been installed as the hot favourite this week it is worth noting that this is his first visit to Malaysia since 1999.

The player to follow this week is:

Jason Dufner 9/1

What a season Jason has been having this year. He missed only one cut from 22 starts. He amassed 14 top 25 finishes, 8 top 10’s and had 2 fantastic victories.

In April he broke through for his maiden PGA Tour title with victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. After 72 holes he finished at -19 in a share for the lead with Ernie Els. After two play off holes he managed to hold Ernie at bay and claim the win.

Three weeks later he was at it again. This time he won the HP Byron Nelson Championship winning the event by one stroke.

Interestingly between these two victories he also managed to fit in his wedding!

His very next event was a 2nd place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Followed up by a T4th in the U.S Open.

He closed the season in the FedExCup Play offs with T18th Deutsche Bank Championship, T28th BMW Championship and T20th TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

After a good rest he flew down to Australia last week for the Perth International. He finished runner-up two strokes behind countryman Bo Van Pelt. His four rounds included 21 birdies and one eagle. He hit 69% of greens in regulation and had 1.66 putts per GIR.

So we know he is in good form at the moment and is hitting the ball well.

This will be Jason’s second visit to the course where he finished T10th last year. Based on his form this year you would expect to see him playing even better this time around.

His stats this season have him ranked 19th in driving accuracy, 7th in Greens in regulation, 5th in birdie average, 4th in scoring average, 3rd in all round stats, 2nd in ball striking and 8th in scrambling.

After finishing just behind his countryman Bo Van Pelt last week and with him also being the defending champion there will be more pressure on him to perform than Jason Dufner. Jason will also be hungry to go one better and turn the tables on him.

Good luck and good punting.

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