Ace golfer Shubhankar Sharma keen to win the CIMB Classic

Ace golfer Shubhankar Sharma keen to win the CIMB Classic

The others are the in-form Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri - who has been here before and was T-3 in 2015 - and Rahil Gangjee, who did play on the Web.com Tour in the United States, but it is in Asia that he is making his PGA Tour debut.

Perez won here a year ago after a birdie blitz saw him finish on 24-under par, while Moore, himself a double champion in KL (2013, 2014), is coming off a T2 finish at last week's Safeway Open, where he lost out in a three-way play-off to Kevin Tway.

The 31-year-old from Bengaluru finished tied third at the TPC Kuala Lumpur in 2015, which matches the best result by an Asian player in the only PGA Tour event in southeast Asia.

Shubhankar Sharma at the CIMB Classic.

Other top contenders include Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Tway, who won the Safeway Open last week. He's somebody to completely steer clear of this week in Malaysia when making your 2018 CIMB Classic picks. Sharma, a two-time Asian Tour victor, now leads the Habitat for Humanity Standings with a season's haul of $608,494.

Q: What do you remember most from last year's win at the CIMB Classic and how special was it?

"Twenty years later, I hold a Tour card". I think it's the first time I see the ball roll on the fairways, which is like a good sign. Winning the Order of Merit is something I want to achieve by December and playing well here goes a long way to achieve that. I made my plans in the off-season assuming that I would play, so it came as a bit of a surprise.

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I'm looking forward to defending my title and seeing my fans there again. I've played so well on this course and have a good record over here.

Perez: As golfers, sometimes you just like a golf course the minute you set eyes on it. TPC KL is one of those golf courses where I feel comfortable standing on the tee boxes and seeing what's in front of me.

"Not having my best stuff and getting around here in 6-under is huge".

Being a father certainly changes your perspective somewhat and the good thing now, I guess, is when I have an ordinary week on TOUR, it really won't matter too much when I know I have another great reason to be happy with the new addition to our family.

Perez cruised to victory at last year's tournament thanks to a score of 24-under par.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the 2013 Asian Tour number one, will play in his first PGA Tour event at the CIMB Classic after becoming the first Thai to earn a PGA Tour card.

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