Well what a crazy week we just witnessed at The Dubai Desert Classic, with winds stopping play on Friday creating a huge divide between either side of the draw.
A real tough one to predict, however if you paid close attention to the weather, built your teams around Stenson (2nd), Hatton (3rd), Rafa (11th) or possibly Garcia (Win) if you caught my late tweet and cheap as chips Lipsky (42nd), you should be seeing a nice return like I did this week.
This time the European Tour joins up with the Asian Tour in a co-sanctioned event for the Maybank Championship (formerly known as the Malaysia Classic or Malaysia Open). To be played in the sweltering heat on the Palm Course, Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Not exactly the most star studded field, some big names making appearances however, there's a lot of names I wouldn't even attempt to pronounce let alone offer my opinion on.
With this in mind, there's an opportunity to use strategy to your advantage and maybe hit it big with a few lesser known players included in your draft. Especially with those household names surely to be over priced and over picked.
Nicknamed The Cobra for its venomous bite the Palm Course at Saujana GCC will present a tough test and all elements of the game will have to be on song to do well here.
Once ranked the 6th hardest golf course on the planet and now extended to measure a very respectable 7186 yards, this gorgeous layout offers a great mixture of opportunities for birdie or better and holes where a par will feel like its well earned.
Aside from its solid layout the extremely grainy Bermuda greens will be what presents its toughest challenge, described to have undulations similar to that of Augusta National, it will be absolutely crucial to have full control over ball flight to make sure these small targets are hit in regulation and the ball left in the right place to avoid the dreaded 3 whack!
This weeks course is definitely one for the purist, Fairways/Greens and a red hot Putter.
Weather and Conditions.
Forecast for temperatures to hit the low 90's, humidity to be high and barely any breeze to speak of, the players are going to be in for one hot and sticky week and considered by most that travel from the European Tour to be a massive obstacle to adjust to.
Expect the odd lightning storm to interrupt play, and for the general ground conditions to be relatively soft in the opening days, its rained a fair bit over the past couple of weeks and due to the nature of the environment moisture sits around the course. Often meaning that they play lift, clean and place from the fairway (Fairways Hit = Big Advantage)
My Picks For The Week.
Lee Westwood $11,000 - Lee is most definitely a purist, he finds fairways, hits greens and most crucially has superb yardage control. He has played here a good number of times so has course experience to his advantage as well.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello $11,800 - He was extremely unlucky to be on the bad side of the draw in Dubai, yet still managed to finish 11th once again showing his true class, comfortable in the heat, all round solid game and understandably 'favorite' with the book makers.
Thongchai Jaidee $8,900 - Knows this course like the back of his hands, won here in 2004 and 2005, just started to find form with a great final round in Dubai and showing very similar stats to those that won him this title twice and the French Open last year. His course knowledge is invaluable, loved by the locals and as comfortable as anyone dealing with the heat.
Anirban Lahiri $10,400 - This is a tournament he really wants to win, plays his best golf on this style of course and once again finding form at the right time, if he gets hot with the putter can be a birdie machine and massive point scorer.
Thomas Aiken $7,700 - I'm going with Thomas again even though had a very uneventful 4 days in the desert, scraped through the cut in the toughest conditions to finish 42nd, thanks to this should be lower owned and as always good value. He leads the stats on tour for greens in regulation and a 69 stroke average.
Jeunghun Wang $9,100 - Another player that got stung by the conditions last week, however very little breeze this week to worry about, he has a very uncomplicated game, ticks boxes for fairways, greens and birdie conversion, comfortable in the heat and a super star of the future.
Gramae Storm $7,500 - Swinging beautifully, under full control of his game right now and has the game and course management to do really well here, forms been exceptional and in these calm conditions could go low if he can manage the heat.
Jbe Kruger $6,600 - Really like this play, safe bet, can compete for top spots, comfortable in the heat with his collar up! The course could play into his style of game, in my opinion under priced.
Todd Sinott $7,000 - 2nd on the Asia Tour money list, loves these testing courses and has the stats to stack up, could do well and likely to be lower picked than the feature European tour boys.
David Drysdale $7,100 - Right up there when it comes to fairways hit and with ball in hand this advantage could mean yet another made cut and solid 4 days.
Prom Meesewat $6,700 - Had a great outing in the desert finishing 15th, has had 6 0f last 8 rounds in the 60's, local player with great knowledge of course and happy in this climate
Chris Paisley $6,700 - Patience could play a big role and Chris has this in abundance, keeps his game simple, ticking boxes for fairways and greens last 3 finishes 29th, 13th, 15th(Dubai)
David Horsey $6,400 - David has had a couple of bad results of late but his ability is unquestionable, especially when you look back over the last year, has great course history, 2nd last time it was played here here and I believe he will find his form on this course again.
Siddikur Rahman $6,400 - This is a real outside pick, not well known but all statistics stack up, hits fairway after fairway and has a short game to die for, just found form on the Asia Tour with a 2nd place last week and 3 of those rounds in the 60's
Jazz Janewattananond $7,000 - I mainly wanted to mention him because I love the name, seriously though in his first outing this year on the Asian Tour he picked up a win with 4 very impressive rounds in the 60's, full of confidence from last week could continue scoring well.
Play or Fade?
2 players with huge potential to do well here but confidence at a low and form questionable.
Danny Willett and Tommy Fleetwood - Danny had what it takes the win the Masters and a lot of the same attributes are going to be needed to win here. Tommy should be a contender every standard tour event he plays, very adaptable player.. The conundrum.. Danny's been struggling like mad with driver and general control and Tommys missed the last 2 cuts and no doubt confidence a little low.
Personally I'm going with Tommy in a few drafts in the hope he's a little lower picked and it was nothing more than the draw that made him miss the cut in Dubai and another top 10 due in KL.
Best of Luck to you and don't forget to follow me on twitter for any updates @ashleymorrisson