Westwood brimming with confidence

World number 30 Lee Westwood will look to complete a hat-trick of Malaysian Open titles this week in Kuala Lampur.

The Englishman first won the title in 1997 before it was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and took his 23rd European Tour title with a wire-to-wire win at the
Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country last year.

“I am looking forward to going back there. It’s obviously a golf course I play very well on and it’ll be nice to go back and defend. It’s always nice going back to defend a tournament,” he told the European Tour website.

“I think any time you pull away from a field and win by a lot, it’s very satisfying. It was great to win by a few and it’s nice to play the last few holes with a big cushion.”

Westwood started his season with a top ten finish at the Dubai Desert Classic last week, finishing tied for ninth with three other players on 14-under.

If not for an even-par 72 in the final round, due to three bogeys and a double bogey, Westwood would have finished higher on the leaderboard.

“I’m pleased with the way that I’m playing and if you go back to a course on which you’ve won, you feel like it suits you,” he said.

“Malaysia is a nice place to go play golf, even if it can be a little hot, but I cope well with sticky conditions and it will be a good week no doubt.”

Europe’s Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher, and former US Open champion Graeme McDowell will challenge Westwood for the title this year.