Reigning ISPS Handa Perth International champion Bo Van Pelt is fired up for a successful title defence at the US$6.1 million CIMB Classic starting on Thursday in Malaysia. Australia&aposs John Senden, who finished in a tie for 7th in the 2011 edition, joins Scott Hend, Greg Chalmers, Marc Leishman and Marcus Fraser in the Australian contingent. Van Pelt, who held off Jason Dufner to emerge victorious in Perth said he was looking forward to the week. This is my first chance I&aposve ever had to defend. I&aposve only won a few tournaments. When I won on Nationwide (the secondary circuit in the US), the year after I was on the (PGA) Tour, and when I won in Milwaukee (2009), that tournament went away. This is a first for me, so I&aposm excited, said Van Pelt, who is ranked 23rd in the world. The 37-year-old, who posted 10 top-10s on the PGA Tour this year, will be amongst a strong 48-man field at the CIMB Classic, which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour. World number two Tiger Woods, a 14-time Major winner, headlines the field which includes ninth-ranked Jason Dufner, who finished second behind Van Pelt last week. Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant, who secured his third win of the season in India on Sunday, will spearhead the Asian Tour s challenge at the Mines Resort, which was built on what was formerly the world s largest open cast tin mine. Van Pelt is confident of extending his winning form. 2012 was probably one of my most consistent years. So from that standpoint I was pleased with how I played. The down side is I did not win a tournament on the PGA Tour, so that was a negative. You want to try to get a victory when you&aposre that close. The American shot a 23-under-par 261 winning total at the Mines Resort last year. I think there are so many great players in every tournament we get to play, to have a chance to win, you know you&aposre going to have to play great. Last year doesn&apost count for anything this year. We all start even par on Thursday morning. The golf course isn&apost going to remember how I played last year. I&aposve got to produce this year. I like the golf course. It&aposs really straightforward, and obviously I feel like I still have a pretty good game plan. Hopefully, I&aposll just get used to the speed of the greens. That was kind of key for me last year here. I putted the ball well, and hopefully I can do it again this year, he added.
Author: Golf Australia