Westwood out to defend his crown

England’s Lee Westwood said that he would like nothing more than retaining the Malaysian Open title.

Westwood cruised to a seven-shot victory at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club last April as he claimed his 41st career victory.

With the win he also ended a run of almost two years without a trophy.

The 41-year-old said that he is in prime condition following the festive break during which he focused on ensuring that he is in as fit as a fiddle for the new season.

“I played really nicely that week and didn’t make many mistakes, which was key to my victory,” said Westwood.

“You have to play really well to win any tournament by seven shots.”

“If I can stay solid from tee to green, I don’t see why I can’t be in contention again.”

Westwood will be joined by Ryder Cup team-mates Graeme McDowell, Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson, with captain Paul McGinley also taking part in the event.

France’s Dubuisson followed up his success at Gleneagles with a string of top-five finishes including a joint-second place alongside Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald at the DP World Tour Championship.

Other familiar faces in the field includes former champions Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Matteo Manassero while Bernd Wiesberger, Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan will also be out to snatch the title from Westwood.