CIMB Classic: Make Matsuyama a Malaysia pick
The PGA Tour makes a rare overseas stop by heading to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic this week, where in-form Justin Thomas is looking to complete a hat-trick of victories, writes Dave Clark.
Thomas pipped Adam Scott by a shot in 2015 and held off Hideki Matsuyama by three at TPC Kuala Lumpur last year. The 24-year-old American built on his early-season win in the Far East at the start of last season, following up with consecutive wins in Hawaii and then capturing the US PGA Championship in August.
Thomas went on to capture the FedEx Cup and win PGA Tour player of the year, but he was beaten by Matsuyama in the Presidents Cup singles and we are picking the Japanese star to come out on top again as the first of our CIMB Classic betting predictions at 9/1.
The world number three has won five times since finishing runner-up in this event 12 months ago, and although fatigue crept into his performances towards the end of last season, he took last week off and should be refreshed.
Having finished 21st, fifth and second in the last three stagings of this event, the layout clearly suits Matsuyama.
Another with form over this track is India’s Anirban Lahiri, who tied for third last year.
He was one of the few international players to impress in the Presidents Cup two weeks ago, and can beat Gary Woodland in matched betting at evens.
Ian Poulter looks to have put his injury problems firmly behind him and is the next of our CIMB Classic betting tips at odds of 28/1 in an event that suits strong putters.
After seeing his 2016 campaign decimated by a foot injury, the Ryder Cup star has bounced back this season with three top-10s and, having claimed four of his 16 career wins in Asia, conditions clearly suit.
Having started the year outside the top 200 of the world rankings, the Englishman needs to climb into the top 50 to qualify for next season’s majors and, at 54th in the current standings, could do with a big week in an event where he was 17th last year.
Another player rediscovering his form is American Keegan Bradley. The 2011 US PGA champion struggled after anchored putters were banned for the start of 2016, but was sixth last year after shooting an opening 64.
His missed cut last week was his first since the beginning of June and, assuming he can bounce back as he did on that occasion with two top-10s in his next three events, Bradley makes plenty of appeal in the CIMB Classic betting at 66/1.
Best bets for CIMB Classic
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