October 23 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
The way Nick Watney sees it, battling jet lag might not be such a bad thing this week.
Watney played in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas a week ago to kick off his 2013-2014 PGA TOUR season. Then he boarded a plane for Malaysia, specifically the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, which is a commute of more than 20 hours.
Watney, who defends his title at the CIMB Classic this week, arrived around noon on Tuesday. He was asleep by 7 that night and up by 3 the following morning.
With tee times that run from 7:30-9:30 a.m. (local time), though, maybe his body clock won't be too far off.
"I don't know when I'll get fully adjusted to the time, but it looks like the tee times are slated to be pretty early, so it'll be fine to be waking up early," Watney said. "You know, it's Wednesday here. I'm pretty sure it's Tuesday evening back in the States. It's definitely different, but it's almost so much of a time change that it works out. So no problem."
Malaysia is 12 hours ahead of East Coast time. So that means the first round begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the United States and the TV coverage on the Golf Channel begins at 10:30 p.m. that night.
"I'm definitely very excited to be back," Watney said. "I have a lot of good memories from last time I was here. The golf course is in great shape out there. It's very challenging. I'm looking forward to getting the week started."
The golf course, though, isn't The Mines Resort on which Watney closed with a 61 to win what was then an unofficial event. This year a full slate of FedExCup points will be on offer at Kuala Lumpur Country Club as the CIMB Classic becomes the first PGA TOUR event played in Asia.
"It's very hilly out there, but I think the main difference would be how narrow the fairways are," Watney said. "The Mines are pretty generous driving the ball, but here we hit into a lot of 15-yard gaps or maybe even less than that.
"It's definitely important to get the ball in the fairway. The rough is up pretty good, and I think the winner will be a good driver, controlling the ball off the tee in order to give himself the best shot into the green because also the greens are a bit firmer than The Mines. It's a pretty good test."