TPC Kuala Lumpur’s revamped West Course has received excellent reviews from the PGA Tour and Asian Tour players competing in this week’s CIMB Classic.
The 10-month renovation exercise was completed in late August and saw the returfing of the greens from SeaIsle Supreme grass to Tifeagle and the fairways/teeboxes from Seashore Paspalum to Celebration Bermuda, as well as some design modifications. Despite heavy rain in the last few days, the course held up remarkably well and the tournament was played without preferred lies for the first time in its nine-year history
South African star Louis Oosthuizen, who won the 2012 Malaysian Open at the West Course with a 17-under-par total, described the changes as”unbelievable”.
“You get run on the fairway and the greens are probably the best I’ve seen it, nice and firm, runs beautifully. It was already a layout that I really enjoyed … now with the changes it’s one of my favorite golf courses,” said the 2010 British Open champion.
“It’s always fun going back to a golf course that you’ve won on … you know you’ve played well there before and it’s just a matter of finding the right game for the week. But like I said, I really enjoy the new grass and the different way it plays,” added Oosthuizen, who opened his campaign with a 66 to trail first round leader Bronson Burgoon by three shots.
Two-time CIMB Classic champion Justin Thomas also raved about the revamped golf course. “It’s great. With the fairways being firmer it’s going to play shorter, but not playing ball in hand is such a difference. You can get some tough lies to chip out of and it’s a lot firmer out there, so you have to think a little bit more.”
The Asian Tour’s current Habitat For Humanity Standings leader, Shubhankar Sharma, was also a firm fan of the ‘new’ West.
“The course is fantastic. This course is definitely right up there, especially with the way the conditions are, the way the greens are playing. Obviously it was renovated after last year’s tournament and I think changes that they made have been great.
“This is my first time so I don’t really know what it looked like before, but the greens are firm and fast and hard and even the fairways are running really well, so the course is great,” said the talented Indian player.