CIMB Classic betting tips and preview

Golf News

In just the second event of the new season, the PGA Tour is off to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic. Who is our resident tipster backing?

Venue: TPC Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: October 11-14, 2018
Course stats: Par 72, 7,005 yards
Purse: $7 million (£5.34m)
Defending champion: Pat Perez (-24)

TV coverage

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf – from 3.30am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf – from 3.30am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf – from 4am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf – from 4am

CIMB Classic preview

Last week’s Safeway Open marked the beginning of the 2019 PGA Tour season, and the players are now off on their travels to the Asian swing of events, with Malaysia first up for the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.

As is always the case, players will be tasked with making plenty of birdies while managing the stifling temperatures and high humidity levels that this part of the world consistently throws up.

TPC Kuala Lumpur is a resort-style golf course, where fairways are lined by trees and water hazards are in plentiful supply.

The last three winning scores have been -24, -23 and -26, with the latter two of those coming from Justin Thomas, the World No. 4 who quite rightly finds himself as the overwhelming favourite in what is a very poor PGA Tour field.

Being a co-sanctioned event with the Asian Tour, there are plenty of interesting names in the field – some of whom, I suspect, will be unknown to even the most hardened golf fan.

CIMB Classic betting tips

This is not an easy prospect from a betting point of view. Can we side with Justin Thomas at a measly 9/2?

He’s quite clearly the class act in this field and he’s proven himself on this course – in fact, this was the site of both of his first two wins on the PGA Tour. It’s a venue that holds incredible memories for Thomas and, as he enters the week off the back of being top USA points scorer at the Ryder Cup, he could very well runaway with this title yet again.

I can’t bring myself to back him at the price though, so I’ll kick things off with Cameron Smith (33/1, 6 places), who looks the pick of the market leaders.

This young Australian is perhaps the most comfortable, certainly of the classier players in this field, under these testing weather conditions in Asia. Before gaining his PGA Tour membership in 2016, Smith roamed around the main tours of Australia and Asia and that has perhaps shown in his strong showings in this event in his only three starts.

Indeed, a 37th place finish in 2015 was straddled between two top-five finishes in 2014 and 2017. Bearing in mind Smith went off at around the 50/1 mark twelve months ago, I feel as though it’s entirely fair that he’s around the 33/1 mark this time around. Take into account his excellent form on the PGA Tour recently, which culminated in a spot at the season-ending Tour Championship after back-to-back third place finishes in the Play-Offs, it all points to yet another strong finish here in Kuala Lumpur as he bids for his first official PGA Tour victory.

That’s our tipster’s top pick for this week’s CIMB Classic – but there are a couple of players he thinks can make you some serious profit. Find out who they are on the next page…

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