Maybank Championship Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 21st March 2019

The European Tour continues down its globe-trotting path this week, quickly packing up from Kenya and heading for Kuala Lumpur where the fourth Maybank Championship will take place. The event lacks some of the star power of recent years but the galleries will still enjoy the chance to watch the likes of Thomas Pieters, Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood.

Each of Pieters, Sullivan and Wood are looking to recapture the form that took them to the 2016 Ryder Cup but none of them have really done enough to convince punters recently. Maximilian Kieffer may lack the out and out class of those three but he is a consistent golfer who has just what it takes to win this event at a tasty price of 50/1 with Ladbrokes.

Top Tips

Maximilian Kieffer each way @ 50/1

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

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Course Info

Saujana Golf and Country Club is used to hosting the European Tour. Not only has it hosted two of the three Maybank Championships but it was also a regular host of the now defunct Malaysian Open (more on that later). At just 7,135 yards and with a combination of trees, bunkers and water hazards ready to disrupt players who stray too far off line, this is no bomb and gouge golf course. Instead, the formula is very much - find the fairway, hit the green, hole the putt, repeat.

Of course, it’s never quite that simple. Scoring on the lengthy par threes, for example, will be tricky whilst the players will have to negotiate a number of doglegs on the Palm Course which has earned the nickname, the Cobra. Typically stormy, humid conditions in Kuala Lumpur will soften the Palm Course up which will make it more of a test of distance but it should play into the hands of ball strikers who will find their approach shots tend to hold the small greens.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Saujana Golf & Country Club Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 7,135 Yards $3,000,000

Recent Winners

This is only the fourth edition of the Maybank Championship but many golf fans will see it as a continuation of the Malaysian Open which ran from 1962 to 2015 and was, rather confusingly, sponsored by Maybank for the last 10 renewals. Because it is a new tournament with new records only the three winners of the Maybank Championship are included below.

Marcus Fraser won the inaugural edition of the tournament at Royal Selangor Golf Club before it moved to its current venue. Therefore, it’s the wins of Shubhankar Sharma and Fabrizio Zanotti which are most interesting. They both favoured accuracy off the tee to distance, hit a high number of greens in regulation and putted very well. The play from 150 yards and in will be vital this week as the small greens are not easy to find and those who do find them more than most will be separated by their putting.

YearWinnerCourseTo ParWinning Margin
2018 Shubhankar Sharma Saujana Golf & Country Club -21 2 Strokes
2017 Fabrizio Zanotti Saujana Golf & Country Club -19 1 Stroke
2016 Marcus Fraser Royal Selangor Golf Club -15 2 Strokes

Analysis: Short Game Reliability Key at Saujana

Approach play and putting will be key for players to score well this week. No round of golf goes entirely to plan though so expect those who get themselves into contention to be eventually separated by their short game. Missing the greens at Saujana almost always provides a stern test to get up and down for par so those who can marry excellent chipping to their solid iron play and putting should come to the fore.

Kieffer Worth Chancing for Maiden European Tour Win

Shubhankar Sharma was the shortest priced winner of the Maybank Championship’s short history when he went in at 50/1. That shows this is a tournament capable of producing a big shock and punters should expect more of the same with each of the players at the head of the betting having only semi-decent incoming form.

Maximilian Kieffer is one player who fits the profile of a potential Maybank Championship winner nicely at 50/1 with Ladbrokes. He made his name on the European Tour as an incredibly consistent player even if he doesn’t quite have the out and out class of some of his peers. The German had little trouble finding fairways and greens on his two starts at Saujana and improved on a 41st place finish in 2017 to finish 11th last year.

If Kieffer is to finally claim his maiden European Tour title he’ll need his best ball striking week as his approach play is a little questionable. There are no questions about the German’s short game though as he ranks well for strokes gained around the greens and 14th on the European Tour for scrambling.

Meesawat Another Who Fits the Bill

If you go down the route of favouring quality ball strikers who also possess reliable short games it doesn’t take you long to stumble on the name of Prom Meesawat. Unlike many in the field, the Thai is accustomed to playing in humid conditions. He’s also full of confidence at the moment having won the recent Thailand Masters which saw him qualify for the Open.

Meesawat now plays his golf full time on the Asian and All Thailand Golf Tours but would love to earn a European Tour card again. This may well be his best opportunity. He has plenty of course experience with two top 10 finishes at Saujana. No doubt he’ll need to raise his game again for the European Tour but this is far from the strongest field of the year so a place is well within Meesawat’s grasp at 80/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Maximilian Kieffer Each Way

The 2019 Maybank Championship must look like a gift to some of those in the field. The relatively weak field presents a real opportunity for a potentially life changing European Tour win. Both Maximilian Kieffer and Prom Meesawat have a chance of at least challenging for the title with preference going to Kieffer thanks to a touch more class and a better recent record at the venue. We certainly wouldn’t put you off an each way punt on both.

About

The Maybank Championship may be one of the newest additions to the European Tour, formed in 2016, but it's quickly become one of the more popular spots for players to take part. This is mainly down to the fact that the $3million prize pool is one of the largest on the European Tour.

It's currently hosted by the Saujana Golf and Country Club, which is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is actually the only European Tour to feature in this country. The tournament is co-sanctioned between the European Tour and Asian Tour, which has seen a huge boost for the former both in terms of sponsorship money and exposure.

But, the Maybank championship wasn't the only event to have been held in Malaysia, with the Malaysian Open being a firm fixture from 1999 and dating back as far as 1962 on the Asian tour. However, the tournament was axed in 2015 and the Maybank Championship was formed under a new name to offer a fresh approach to golf in Malaysia.

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