CIMB Classic: Moore of the same for Ryan

Ryan Moore can claim a third win here
Ryan Moore can claim a third win here

Dave Tindall brings us his analysis and tips for the second event of the 2016/17 PGA Tour season - the CIMB Classic in Malaysia...


"If it comes down to the wire on Sunday, he’ll have the added belief that he’s a two-time course winner and that could get him over the line again."

Main Bet: Back Ryan Moore @ 17.016/1

Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places


Main Bet: Back Ryan Moore e/w @ 16/1


Tiger Woods did it on many occasions but there have been other cases of players winning the same PGA Tour event multiple times.

Stuart Appleby won the season-opener in Hawaii three years in a row (2004-2006), Jim Furyk went to Las Vegas and hit the jackpot three times in five years and, a bit further back, Mark O'Meara won three times in four years at Pebble Beach (eventually taking his tally to five wins there). Most recently, Steve Stricker (2009-2011) reeled off a hat-trick of wins at the John Deere Classic.

So how about Ryan Moore joining that list by adding his third title in Kuala Lumpur? Moore shot 14-under to triumph on debut in 2013, beating Gary Woodland in a play-off, and returned to make a successful defence 12 months later, this time finishing three clear of the pack.

He hardly disgraced himself either when going for a three-peat last year, shooting four rounds in the 60s to post T10.

Moore doesn't offer up any great secrets to success here but admits: "I've had a good routine the last couple years and it's worked. I kind of have my system of, as far as acclimating, when I go to sleep, when I wake up, what to do in the morning.

"It's very hot, but I tend to like playing in hot weather, so that's a great thing for me. The food is great everywhere downtown where we go. And it's just an overall experience that's just something that I enjoy."

On course form alone he's worth a punt but he'll return to Malaysia this year as a Ryder Cup winner.

The American wrapped up a week to remember by scoring the point that secured victory, Moore being engulfed by his jubilant captain and team-mates after he'd come from two down with three to play to beat Lee Westwood.

Of course, Moore had only made the team due to his outstanding play in the Tour Championship at East Lake where reaching the play-off against Rory McIlroy was enough to get him the final captain's pick from Davis Love.

That second place added to top 10s in the Barclays and Deutsche Bank so he really was one of the stars of the FedEx Cup finals. And let's not forget that he'd gone into them with a recent win in the John Deere Classic.

It's a competitive front end of the market but Moore really does look to have everything in his favour and, if it comes down to the wire on Sunday, he'll have the added belief that he's a two-time course winner and that could get him over the line again.

As an each-way bet the 16/1 looks very fair.


Next Best: Back Scott Piercy e/w @ 33/1


Scott Piercy likes a 62 it seems. He opened with one at last year's CIMB Classic before going on to finish T7 and he closed with one on his only other start in the event in 2012 to jump up to T10.

Last week he delivered the magic number again, firing an opening 10-under 62 to take a three-shot first-round lead in the Safeway Open.

He dipped in round three in California last week and was slow out of the blocks in Sunday's closer but five back-nine birdies elevated him back to third spot and meant he ended the week in positive mood.

Piercy poured in 21 birdies and an eagle at Silverado Resort and he'll return to a TPC Kuala Lumpur course where he posted 22 birdies and two eagles on his last trip.

Interviewed in California last week, the American said: "I've been striking the ball pretty well for a few months now. If the putter can kind of tag along and so some of what the ball striking is doing, I think we're in good shape."

That was pretty much the case at the Safeway Open where he ranked 6th in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and 18th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Piercy got hot in the summer by finishing runner-up in two huge events - the US Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He cooled after that although still managed a couple of top 25s in the FedEx play-offs.

Once again, temperatures will be high in Malaysia but that's one of the areas where Piercy may have an edge.

"I love the heat. I grew up in Vegas, so I'm used to the heat," he said last year. "Maybe not the humidity like this, but some guys aren't accustomed to it. I love it. So, it's player to player, really."

Knowing that he's twice shot 62 on this course (in just two starts) will give Piercy plenty of belief and, although he can wobble, the bottom line is that he's won three times on the PGA Tour (2011, 2012 and 2015) so can get over the line.

Given his various credentials, the 33/1 looks a play in this limited 78-man field.

Of the others around that price, Gary Woodland and Kevin Chappell would be my next two cabs off the rank.

Woodland is a two-time runner-up at this course and performed well during the play-offs and Chappell finished runner-up at the Tour Championship. Perhaps his previous exploits at this week's venue (29-13-25) aren't quite strong enough to lure me in though.


Final Bet: Back Sergio Garcia e/w @ 18/1


There must be every chance that one of the market leaders lifts the trophy this week so I'm happy to get another on board.

Paul Casey has obvious claims after his four straight top fours on the PGA Tour but his course form here (T24 and T37 with nothing better than a 68) dampens his appeal.

Hideki Matsuyama is coming off a win at his home Japan Open but that would have been an emotional week for him and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him just mentally relax a little here and not be quite ready for another big title fight.

Patrick Reed was a force of nature at the Ryder Cup and is getting better each year here (40-26-10) but might just need a little adjustment time to find the same intensity again in these calmer waters after his epic strokeplay win over Rory McIlroy.

Kevin Na never wins although offers each-way potential at 20s so that just leaves Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas.

Thomas did well to come back from a poor start last week to crack the top 10 but he did get very hot under the collar at times when missing putts.

In the heat and humidity here and the added stress of being the defending champion, the youngster may not be able to show the same calmness that the more experienced Moore did when he attempted to go back-to-back.

Therefore, my money is going on Sergio at 18/1.

The Spaniard didn't end the season too well but he really got the competitive juices flowing again in the Ryder Cup and played some superb golf at times.

He carried Martin Kaymer, produced a superb comeback alongside fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello to halve their match with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth and then went blow for blow with Phil Mickelson in a sensational singles showdown, again sharing the spoils.

"It was amazing," said Garcia. "Obviously to shoot 9-under and end up tying the match, it's obviously heart-breaking. But I gave it everything I had and I don't know, I mean, I don't think I could have done anything differently. Obviously Phil just made it from everywhere. We both played extremely well."

The last time he played this event as his first outing after a Ryder Cup (2014) he finished runner-up. That came after he won 2½ points out of four games in Europe's win at Gleneagles so playing a Ryder Cup can definitely re-energise him.

He's a multiple winner on Asian soil (2012 Iskandar Johor Open, 2013 Thailand Golf Championship and 2015 Ho Tram Open) the most recent and don't think he can't thrive when scoring is low.

His winning scores for his last three triumphs on the two main tours were -18, -16 and -15.


Dave's 2016 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £1120
Returned: £1048.75
P/L: -£71.25

(After the Safeway Open)

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