Power Rankings: 2014 CIMB Classic


The PGA Tour continues to kick off the 2014-15 season with the CIMB Classic, the fourth event of the new season. A field of 78 players will tee it up at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, the first of two events of the Tour's Asian Swing.

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Ryan Moore won this event a year ago in a playoff over Gary Woodland. Here are 10 players to watch in Malaysia:

1. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama began the new season with a T-3 finish at the Frys.com Open, then followed with a T-10 result in Vegas. Already with a PGA Tour win under his belt, the Japanese phenom returns to Malaysia after a T-25 finish last year and clearly with his game in form.

2. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard tied for 11th in Kuala Lumpur last year, and now returns on the heels of a successful Ryder Cup. At No. 4 in the OWGR, he is the highest-ranked player in the field and finished last season with top-10 finishes at both the BMW Championship (T-4) and Tour Championship (T-9).

3. Lee Westwood: The Englishman knows what it takes to win on this course - he cruised to a seven-shot victory here at the Maybank Malaysian Open just six months ago. He logged a solid T-12 finish to start his season in Napa and now has the rare opportunity to win twice on the same course in the same calendar year.

4. Patrick Reed: Mr. Match Play now must return to stroke play. Reed gained attention for his performance at the Ryder Cup, and since has only teed it up at the Volvo World Match Play Championship earlier this month. Still, the bravado that helped him at Gleneagles should still translate as he makes his Malaysian debut.

5. Gary Woodland: A playoff loss in Kuala Lumpur last year led to a quietly successful season, one that saw Woodland make it all the way to East Lake without winning an event. Always one of the longest hitters on Tour, Woodland has refined the other aspects of his game in recent months and had three top-25 finishes in four playoff events.

6. Brendon de Jonge: The Zimbabwean narrowly missed out on his first PGA Tour win, losing a three-man playoff Sunday at Sea Island. He's off to a strong start to the new season, with three made cuts and 10 straight rounds of 70 or better. One of the better tee-to-green players in this week's field, de Jonge should be able to bring that momentum with him from Georgia to Malaysia.

7. Charl Schwartzel: Schwartzel hasn't played a PGA Tour event since the BMW Championship, but he has plenty of experience playing global golf and quietly stockpiled some solid results this summer, including a T-7 finish at the Open Championship, T-4 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and T-15 at the PGA Championship.

8. Billy Horschel: The FedEx Cup champ and new dad got off to a slow start in his return to action, missing the cut in Las Vegas, but Horschel showed in the playoffs that he can get hot in a hurry. He tied for 11th at this event, highlighted by a final-round 67, and could improve on that result this time around.

9. Paul Casey: Like Horschel, Casey is a new father and a player who can fire a low round at a moment's notice. The Englishman had nine top-25 finishes in 16 PGA Tour starts last season, including two in his final two events of the season: T-18 at the Wyndham Championship, followed by a T-22 finish at The Barclays.

10. Jason Dufner: Dufner is making his return to the PGA Tour for the first time since the PGA Championship after battling bulging discs in his neck, and even after a warm-up start last week in Australia there may be more questions than answers when it comes to his health. Still, when he's firing on all cylinders Dufner is one of the game's best iron players and will benefit from a no-cut event.