Australia’s World Cup representatives Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith are on their way home and can launch their assault on the Aussie summer this week at a course where they have had success in the past.
This week saw confirmation that Smith would contest the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney and defend his Australian PGA Championship title at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast in addition to partnering Leishman at the World Cup of Golf at Metropolitan Golf Club.
After a difficult period through the middle of the year, Smith played his way into the Tour Championship and the two-man Australian team and returns to TPC Kuala Lumpur full of positive memories from the CIMB Classic.
Four years ago at just 20 years of age, Smith announced himself on the professional stage with a top-five finish that helped to propel him from the Asian Tour and onto the PGA Tour in America.
Since 2015 he has amassed more than $US7 million in prizemoney on the PGA Tour and has continued to have an affinity for the TPC Kuala Lumpur layout, adding a second top-five finish last year that featured rounds of 64 at either end of the tournament.
In his past 12 rounds at the venue, Smith boasts a scoring average of 68.92 in an event where the winning score the past three years has been 23-under and higher.
Leishman has been a regular in Malaysia since the inaugural tournament in 2010 and recorded his best finish in 2016 when rounds of 69-65-71-66 led to a fifth-place finish.
The Victorian has shown a penchant for going low at TPC Kuala Lumpur, evidenced by his scoring average of 68.70 in his past 10 rounds there. Perhaps a final-round pairing on Sunday will provide a glimpse of what we can expect over the course of the summer.
Half of Team New Zealand are also in Malaysia this week with expectant father Danny Lee coming off a top 10 at the Safeway Open and a tie for seventh in the CIMB Classic 12 months ago.