Australia's Terry Gale won the title three times, and if Westwood (who also won the tournament in 1997) wins this week, he will equal Gale's hat trick.
The English Ryder Cup star said: "It was lovely winning last year. I played really well the first two days and got quite a big lead. I struggled a bit with the heat in the third round but on the Sunday I played very solidly and don't think I made a bogey to end up winning by seven.
"It's nice to be back. I was only here just before Christmas for the PGA Tour event, so I feel like I'm really getting to know the golf course very well. I feel like a member."
The world number 30, who finished tied ninth in Dubai last month, added: "I got off to a good start with a 65 in the first round. I was a bit unlucky on the greens over the next three days, but Sunday I made a good start – I was three under through five – but let it slip a little bit and had a double bogey on the ninth. That wasn't great. Top 10 in the first tournament of the year is pretty good though.
"The course is in good condition again. The greens are very true. I like the course and it sets up well for me. There are some tight drives out there if you want to take it on with the driver to gain an advantage. I see the lines on the greens very well, so I'm impressed with it again."