South African Louis Oosthuizen has predicted a 20 under par winning score in this week’s Maybank Malaysian Open after declaring the greens at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club “unbelievable”.
The 31 year old claimed the title in 2012, a week after losing in a play-off to Bubba Watson at the Masters Tournament, and he has made the same long journey to the Malaysian capital this year after taking 25th place at Augusta National last week.
The 2010 Open Champion was disappointed with that return after making a fine start, but he hopes to continue some promising recent form as he attempts to become the second player to win multiple Malaysian Open titles since the event became part of The European Tour International Schedule in 1999.
“My game is feeling good,” said Oosthuizen. “I played nicely this morning (in the pro-am). I think it will all come down to making putts – the greens are unbelievable this year.
“I think we’ll see a lot of guys making a lot of putts and I believe the winning score will be close to 20 under. You have to shoot at least a four under on average every day.
“Last week was disappointing because I felt I played better than 25th place, but you always learn something at Augusta National.”
Oosthuizen won by three shots in 2012 with a 17 under par total – the lowest score this event has seen in the past four years.
“I played very well on the last few holes,” he recalled. “I made a birdie putt on the 13th hole which put me two shots up. Then I made a good birdie on the 16th, which made it easier playing the last hole with a three shot lead. It is always nice to have a bit of pressure off you heading into the last few holes.”
Oosthuizen is joined in the star-studded field by Lee Westwood, Matteo Manassero, the 2011 champion, Thongchai Jaidee, winner in 2004 and 2005, and defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Garrick Porteous, the 2013 Amateur Champion, will make his professional debut.