CIMB Classic Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 11th October 2018

The new PGA Tour season began in the best possible fashion for Kevin Tway who claimed his maiden success in the big leagues at Silverado. Tway had only limited time to celebrate that win with friends and family as he had to hop on a plane to compete in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

The CIMB Classic is the first of three events on the PGA Tour’s Asian Swing. It’s a limited field event open only to the top 60 players in last season’s FedEx Cup standings and there is no cut to help entice the PGA Tour’s best players. Invitations including from the Asian and Korean Tours make up the balance of the competitors which ensures this is one of the more interesting fields of the year. Xander Schauffele clearly enjoyed the unique feel of this event when finishing third on debut last year and he could well go even better this time around by winning at 16/1 with BetVictor.

Top Tips

Xander Schauffele @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

Adding to the intrigue of the CIMB Classic this year is the fact that the host venue, TPC Kuala Lumpur, has undergone significant changes since last year’s tournament. The bulk of the work was to change the grass used at the 7,005 yard, par 72 course. Gone is the paspalum grass to be replaced with Bermuda to give the course more of an American feel. It remains to be seen how the changes affect scoring but it’s safe to assume that birdies will remain the order of the day at a venue that has traditionally been one of the easiest to manufacture scoring opportunities on the PGA Tour.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
West Course, TPC Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 7,005 Yards $7,000,000

Recent Winners

It’s been a case of horses for courses at TPC Kuala Lumpur in recent years. Both Ryan Moore and Justin Thomas achieved the extremely difficult feat of winning the same event two years running on the PGA Tour. Look a little deeper into the course form and you’ll see many of the same names cropping up towards the top of the leaderboard year on year so it’s fair to say this is a track that players can work out.

The West Course is undoubtedly short by the standards of modern professional golf but the design is clever enough to allow different styles of golf to prosper. It’s possible to try and take the course on with aggressive golf but it’s equally possible to win by laying back and taking a more conservative, tactical approach.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Pat Perez -24 4 Strokes
2016 Justin Thomas -23 3 Strokes
2015 Justin Thomas -26 1 Stroke
2015 Ryan Moore -17 3 Strokes
2015 Ryan Moore -14 Playoff

Analysis: a

As the West Course can be tamed by drastically different approaches, it makes sense to have some variety in your staking plan. Yes, you’d want to include at least one player who will relentlessly find fairways and greens and keep bogeys off their card. But by the same token it’s good to have a player on board who can catch fire and go seriously low. The other thing to note is that we’ve seen winners range between 20/1 to 50/1 at this event so it would be no surprise to see another quality player flying under the radar get the job done.

Schauffele the Next Man to Assert His Dominance on TPC Kuala Lumpur

Xander Schauffele had been making waves on the PGA Tour quite a while before claiming his maiden win at last year’s Tour Championship. That victory at East Lake did catapult him towards stardom though and with all the attention on Tiger Woods at this year’s Tour Championship, Schauffele quietly racked up a third place finish. After finishing third on his CIMB Classic debut last season, he can reverse his recent results from East Lake and win as he returns to Malaysia.

Schauffele comes down on the cautious side of the field but will take chances when they present themselves and should have no problem keeping pace with the inevitable low scoring. Providing he can hold his nerve on Sunday afternoon, Schauffele should challenge for his third PGA Tour win at odds of 16/1 with BetVictor.

Aphibarnrat to Make a Good First Impression

Kiradech Aphibarnrat has played the CIMB Classic six times previously. He’s run the gamut in Kuala Lumpur with a win, two missed cuts and even a retirement. Each of his previous appearances came as a member of the Asian Tour but the Thai star is proudly competing this time round as a PGA Tour member. That could make Aphibarnrat feel a little weird as he’s both one of the new kids at school and an experienced old head at this venue but the best way to banish any strange feeling is to play good golf.

Aphibarnrat has become a very popular player on the European Tour for his swashbuckling style of golf. He’ll be one of the most aggressive players on show this week and his boom and bust style of golf should even out with many more birdies than bogeys so back him each way at 80/1 with Betfred.

Pieters Ready to Reignite His Career

After coming to prominence with an incredible debut performance at the 2016 Ryder Cup, Thomas Pieters has found it tough to be competitive at the top level in the last 18 months or so. The Belgian has shown flashes of brilliance but he needs to make strides forward to fulfil his potential. Watching on from home as Europe retained the Ryder Cup will doubtless have served as motivation for Pieters who has played well at TPC Kuala Lumpur before and could well be in the reckoning for at least a place on Sunday at 80/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Xander Schauffele to Win

Aphibarnrat and Pieters represent two of the more tempting options in the betting from the big hitters in the field of the CIMB Classic. It’s a more cautious player, Schauffele, who gets the nod though. He showed he can tame this course just 12 months ago and returns an even more confident player so make sure to snap up the 16/1 about his chances while it lasts.

About

The CIMB Classic was one of the first PGA Tour events to be held in South East Asia. The tournament is actually co-hosted by that of the PGA Tour and the Asian Tour, with TPC Kuala Lumpar playing host to the tournament in Malaysia.

The first event held was back in 2010 and since then it's been one that has been greeted well by that of the players. The need to expand the game to parts of Asia in what is one of the fastest growing markets for golf, was obviously highlighted with this tournament and the start of season event allows players to see more than just the American culture, something that the PGA Tour has been criticised in the past.

The tournament is quite unique in that it has a much-reduced field compared to most events. When they finally were able to make it a PGA sanctioned event, the number of entrants were increased from 40 to 78 players in total. It includes 60 players from the order of merit on the PGA Tour (FedEx Cup standings) 10 from the order of merit in Asia and 8 sponsor's exemptions.

In 2015, Justin Thomas went on to win the tournament for the first time, whilst shooting a course record 61 in doing so. He later went on to win the tournament the following year as well.

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