Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Defending Champion's Westwood Aims At 2015 MMO Title

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 (Bernama) -- Defending champion Lee Westwood is setting his sights on retaining his title at the US$3 million (RM10.9 million). Maybank Malaysian Open (MMO) 2015 which will be held from Thursday until Sunday at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).

"You get familiar with a place and know you can wing it a bit and relax. You can maybe even be a bit more aggressive when you know a course really well. It was lovely winning last year.

"I played really well the first two days and got quite a big lead. It was nice to finish just before the storm. So yeah it's nice to be back. I was only here just before Christmas for the PGA Tour event, so I feel like I'm really getting to know the golf course very well. I feel like a member," Westwood said.

He said this at the pre-event press conference at KLGCC, here today.

Some 156 professional players from Europe, Asia and 22 Malaysia have confirmed their participation in MMO 2015.

US Open Champion in 2010 Graeme McDowell and Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley will also appear alongside Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson at the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour.

Leading the Asian challenge are Arjun Atwal of India and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who is currently ranked 38th on the official world golf ranking, and Liang Wen Chong of China. Rising Indian star Rashid Khan, 24, will lead the country's team, alongside Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Westwood of England said golf in Asia in general had grown massively and that the standard of golf on the Asian Tour has improved a lot.

"Asian players are happier going and playing on other Tours now and are more successful. So obviously having better players coming over here and playing, the kids have picked up on that and learned things and improved their technique.

"So now it's not just on the Asian Tour they play well, they can do that further afield now which is great to see," he said.

-- BERNAMA

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