For the first time in FedExCup history, a tournament in Asia is included in the season-long points grab. The distinction goes to this week's CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It's a tournament not unfamiliar to the PGA TOUR as it debuted in 2010 as part of an unofficial, introductory swing through the Far East, but it will now reward FedExCup points and official earnings. No fewer than 10 members of the Asian Tour received invitations and as many as 12 are scheduled to compete. The winner, if not otherwise exempt, will also receive invitations into the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship and the PGA Championship.
What is new to the field of 78 in this no-cut tournament is the host track. Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's West Course is the test. It was designed by Nelson & Haworth in 1991 and hosted the Malaysian Open in 2006 before architects Geoff and Ted Parslow were brought in for an overhaul. It reopened in 2008 and has hosted the Malaysian Open since 2010. (The East Course hosts an LPGA event.)
The course is a par 36-36=72 and measures just 6,967 yards, and that includes a 634-yard finishing hole. Greens average 6,500 square feet and are prepped to run at 11 on the Stimpmeter. That's a fair reading given the likelihood of precipitation in the tropical environs. A reasonable threat for rain and storms exists throughout the week. Temperatures will rise into the mid- to upper 80s. Light winds won't do much to relieve the effects of humidity.
The grass on the green is seashore paspalum, which is a salt-water tolerant strand on which American touring professionals play in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com. Kiawah Island also featured a similar surface for the 2012 PGA Championship.
NOTE: Louis Oosthuizen's 17-under 271 is the course record, but for similar characteristics among winners at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's West Course, please look for "Stats Suggest" in The TOUR Report on Wednesday.
|Power Rankings: CIMB Classic|