After missing his first cut in more than 12 months last week and coming up one shot shy at this event last year it will be a motivated Adam Scott that leads the Australian charge at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
The former World Number 1 fired a spectacular Sunday 63 in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 to take the clubhouse lead late in the day but was pipped by a brilliant finish from Justin Thomas who edged Scott by a single stroke.
Coming into the week off a disappointing showing at the Japan Open last week, where he was 10-over through two rounds on his way to missing the cut, Scott will be looking to restore some pride on the more user friendly TPC Kuala Lumpur layout.
Scott made 24 birdies and three eagles at the course last year on his way to a 25-under par total and with conditions predicted to be similar this year, low scoring is again expected to be the order of the day.
Six Australians will take their place in the field this week, Scott joined by Aaron Baddeley, Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, John Senden and Marc Leishman.
The tournament represents a huge opportunity for Fraser and Hend who both earn their place in the field courtesy of their top-10 positions on the Asian Tour Order Of Merit.
>Hend, in particular, has plenty to play for; the 43-year-old is in the midst of some of the best golf of his career.
The long hitting Queenslander played the PGA TOUR for two years a decade ago and has publicly stated he feels the world's top circuit is where he belongs.
A good performance this week might be the key that unlocks that door as it did for Cameron Smith two years ago when he finished 5th.
Hend is more than capable of holding his own in this company though he hasn't produced his best golf at this event the past two years.
However, with two wins this season and five top-10 finishes on the European Tour he is in good form and the low scoring at TPC Kuala Lumpur should suit his aggressive style of play.
Fellow European and Asian Tour regular Marcus Fraser makes his debut at the tournament this week and with the course being one of the shorter on the PGA TOUR his chances are dramatically improved.
There is little in the way of thick rough and with a recent drought in the area the course is expected to run firm and fast which plays to the 38-year-old's strengths.
Aaron Baddeley makes his second appearance at the CIMB this week after an impressive debut in 2014 when he finished 5th.
The four-time PGA TOUR winner is coming off a hard fought comeback in 2016 which saw him win for the first time in five years and regain the card he lost in 2015.
He was at less than his best last week at the season opener in California but with constant weather delays he wasn't the only player to struggle and will be looking for improvement this week.
Headlines at a glance
- Gibson top Aussie in Panama 21.02.2017
- Scott off to good start at Riviera 21.02.2017
- Rumford dominates ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 19.02.2017
- ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth round 4 draw 19.02.2017
- Thrills and spills as top-24 determined at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 18.02.2017
- Hawkes flies low at Heidelberg 18.02.2017
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