• Stenson the threat to Saffas in Malaysia

    Stenson the threat to Saffas in Malaysia
    Stenson is the clear favourite this week

    Henrik Stenson is the standout name in the field, which includes seven South Africans, at this week’s Maybank Championship.

    Stenson returns to Malaysia for the first time since 2005 where he finished third at the Malaysian Open hoping to add the finishing touches to some good early-season form

    ‘I haven’t been playing much in Malaysia for the past ten years and now I’ve been here two times in a month so I’m back to being a local resident, I guess,’ he said after two top 10 finishes in the Desert Swing.

    ‘It’s a nice place, obviously a little bit on the hot side for us northern Europeans but we’ll get by that and hopefully have another good week here in the early part of the year.

    ‘I still feel like it’s been a bit of a struggle, though, long game has not been where I want it to be but putting has been pretty solid. I kept it together nicely, not making many mistakes despite that and I’m happy with that.

    ‘Two top tens in the first two events and managed to get the win down here a few weeks ago so, all-in-all, a pleasing start but still got some things to work on.’

    Headlining the South African charge this week is Dylan Frittelli, who is ranked fifth in the field behind Stenson, last week’s winner Haotong Li, Yuta Ikeda and Bernd Wiesberger.

    Frittelli finished T6 last week and will be looking to a strong showing at Saujana Golf and Country Club as he continues to work towards a place at The Masters.

    Joining the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open champion this week in leading the South African charge is Shaun Norris, who finds himself just outside the top 100 in the world following two good weeks on the Asian Tour.

    Looking to make it 10 cuts in a row is Dean Burmester, who’s standout performance in that time is a T4 at the DP World Tour Championship at the end of last year. The world number 136 has recorded just two rounds over par this year and is primed for a good week with his game in great shape.

    Haydn Porteous is another South African to watch this week as he looks to make up for money lost with a disappointing Sunday in Dubai. The 23-year-old had worked his way nicely into contention but slumped to a final round 74 which saw him finish T19.

    The remaining Saffas in the field this week are Brandon Stone, Jbe Kruger and Keith Horne.

    First round tee times:

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