Lee Westwood will look to shake off the disappointment of another missed major opportunity – not to mention the jet-lag – in an event which provided one of his earliest professional victories.
Westwood flew to Kuala Lumpur for the Maybank Malaysian Open straight after finishing seventh in the US Masters at the weekend, his 64th major championship without a win.
But the 40-year-old was buoyed by recording his best finish of the season at Augusta National and will look to give himself an early birthday present – he turns 41 next Thursday – with a 13th victory in Asia. “My game’s coming along nicely,” said Westwood, who was three shots off the lead going into the final round on Sunday, but played the first four holes in three over par.
“I started working with my new coach, Mike Walker, about six weeks ago. I’m starting to hit the ball a lot better. I’ve got a lot more control, I’m driving it a lot straighter and distance control is coming back. I’m hitting my iron shots a lot closer, and my confidence is building all the time.”
Westwood, who won the Malaysian Open in 1997 before it became co-sanctioned with the European Tour and Asian Tour, added: “It’s been seven years since I last played in Malaysia and it’s certainly nice to be back. I’d forgotten what a fun city Kuala Lumpur is and how nice the people are here.”
The field also includes 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who beat Stephen Gallacher into second place two years ago.
Alastair Forsyth, the 2002 winner, is in a Scottish contingent that also includes Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson, Marc Warren, Craig Lee, David Drysdale and Peter Whiteford.