Having lost in a play-off in his last European Tour event in Morocco and then been a frustrated observer of the Masters Tournament from his sofa, Rhys Davies could be forgiven his eagerness for the Maybank Malaysian Open to begin.
The Welshman finished tied third at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club last year, having led after the second and third rounds, and is hopeful of another title charge this week.
A closing 71 left him two strokes adrift of Noh Seung-yul in 2010, a fortnight before he captured his maiden title in the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco. Davies made a gallant defence of that trophy two weeks ago, missing a short putt on the 72nd hole for victory before eventually missing out to Englishman David Horsey in a play-off and the 25 year old admits he is hungry for more success.
“I had a good week in Morocco and came close to winning again,” he said. “I’ve also played well on this course last year. My form is pretty good so I’m looking forward to a good week and putting some low scores together. The course is in great shape – I played nine holes this morning – so I’m looking forward to the week.
“It was my first taste of Malaysia last year and I really enjoyed myself. I thought the golf course was in great condition and played really well last year. I played some good stuff too and nearly came close to winning it. Hopefully I can go one step better this week.”
Davies, the World Number 84, had time to dwell on his missed opportunity in Morocco after not making the field for the Masters Tournament and he confessed he did not find it easy watch his fellow European Tour Members battle it out at Augusta National.
“When you’re not involved all you want to know is the result,” he admitted.
However Davies will get chance to pit his wits against some of the protagonists from the season first Major Championship, with Green Jacket winner Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy in the field for the Maybank Malaysia Open, along with Open Champion Louis Ooshuizen and World Number One Martin Kaymer.
He said: “This event has attracted some of the top players in the world. From my point of view it gives me a great opportunity to compete against them and beat some top players. They bring a lot of World Ranking points to the event so it boosts the profile even further.
“It’s obviously a tournament title I’d love to win so I’ll work my hardest to try to do so. This tournament historically has always been tough. In the past there have been tight finishes and it’s often been decided by one stroke or even a play off so I’d expect it to be tight this week. There will be some good scores because of the field so it will be tough to win but any tournament is these days so it will be no exception.”