Ryan Moore takes aim at a rare “three-peat” when he defends his CIMB Classic title in Malaysia this week against a high-class field including Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.
Moore’s unorthodox “inside-out” swing has carried him to victory at the narrow and steamy Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club course the past two years, but he said the secret to his winning-streak in Malaysia remained a mystery.
“It’s hard to figure out why I’ve had the success that I have in this tournament or on this course particularly, but obviously, I hope it continues,” he said Wednesday on the eve of the tournament which is co-sanctioned by the US PGA and Asian Tours.
The last person before Moore to defend a PGA Tour event was Tiger Woods, who successfully retained his Arnold Palmer Invitational title in 2013. Moore said he hadn’t given the “three-peat” much thought.
“I won the last two years, so I don’t have that much to prove, necessarily.But you always go into tournaments wanting to win, wanting to play well, and that doesn’t change”.
Also returning is Gary Woodland, who was runner-up to his fellow American the past two years, sharing second with Garcia and Kevin Na last year and losing a playoff in 2013.
It is the third event of the PGA Tour’s wrap-around 2016 schedule, and world number seven Stenson said the $7 million tournament was a chance to get off to fast start early in the season with a first prize of $1.26 million and 500 FedEx Cup points.
“Next year is going to be a busy year with the Olympics and Ryder Cup and everything else, so this gives me the opportunity to add one more tournament before Christmas,” said the Swede, who recently finished second to double 2015 Major winner Jordan Spieth in the FedExCup.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 27, 2015
India’s Anirban Lahiri could wrap up the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit with a win in Kuala Lumpur, but he has a double incentive with it being his first event as a rookie full member of the US PGA Tour.
“This is a very important week for me in many different ways,” said the 28-year-old Lahiri, who won at the same course to take the Malaysian Open title earlier this year, and is coming off recent top-10 finishes in Macau and Hong Kong plus a Presidents Cup debut in Korea.
World number 11 Garcia is seeking his first PGA Tour win since 2012 while besides Australia’s 2013 Masters champion Scott, other former Major winners include Ernie Els and Keegan Bradley.
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