December 12, 2013 -Thursday
SHAABAN SOARS AT SAPURA NATIONAL QUALIFIER
KUALA LUMPUR, September 11 (Bernama) -- Local stalwart Shaaban Hussin holed a huge 30-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a five-under-par 66 to lead in the first round of the Sapura National Qualifier on Monday.
Starting from the 10th tee, Shaaban turned in 37 but bounced back with a flawless back nine courtesy of six birdies for a two-shot lead over little known Steven Hiew at the RM150,000 event, which rewards the winner with a spot in the lucrative CIMB Classic in October.
Lim Eng Seng; Mohd Rizal Amin, an Asian Development Tour (ADT) regular; and Nicholas Fung shared third place following a 69 while Danny Chia and M. Sasidaran were a further shot back at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
Shaaban shot five birdies in the closing six holes to give himself an opportunity of qualifying for a third consecutive appearance in the CIMB Classic, which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.
‚€úI‚€™m familiar with the greens. There‚€™s pressure on all of us to win this event but I‚€™m confident of winning. Every time I play here, it feels like I‚€™m playing on my home course because I play here often,‚€Ě said Shaaban.
‚€úThere‚€™s a strong field this week but I‚€™m only concentrating on my game and we will see where it takes me,‚€Ě added the Malaysian, whose best finish on the Asian Tour this year is a tied 13th result in Singapore.
Hiew, who is playing in his first professional event this year due to health issues, produced his best score at The Mines with four birdies and one bogey.
‚€úI have had good luck today because I hit it close and holed all my putts. I‚€™m very surprised with how I played as this is my best round on this course. To be honest, I‚€™m not thinking about qualifying for the CIMB Classic yet. I just hope I can maintain my form,‚€Ě said the 43-year-old, who owns a company dealing with frozen food.
Fung finished as the highest ranked Malaysian in last week‚€™s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and knows he needs to wield a hot putter in his quest of qualifying for the CIMB Classic, which will be headlined by 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods.
‚€úI could have gone lower but missed a few short putts. It is always nice to be playing after a good tournament. I gained a lot of experience last week. I‚€™m in good form but I didn‚€™t putt as well as I did last week,‚€Ě said Fung.
The CIMB Classic is the only PGA TOUR-sanctioned event in the region. In its third year, the tournament will feature 48 players, with 30 coming from the PGA Tour, 10 from the Asian Tour and 8 sponsor‚€™s exemptions. The players will compete for a US$6.1 million prize purse, with the winner taking home a prize purse of US$1.3 million.
From 2013 onwards, the CIMB Classic will be upgraded to an Official Money Event on the PGA TOUR and will be part of the season-long FedExCup competition. The field will also be expanded to include a minimum of 78 players and will carry a total purse of US$7million.
Leading first round scores
66 ‚€“ Shaaban Hussin
68 ‚€“ Steven Hiew
69 ‚€“ Mohd Rizal Amin, Nicholas Fung, Lim Eng Seng
70 ‚€“ Danny Chia, Wilson Choo, M. Sasidaran, R. Nachimuthu
71 ‚€“ Sofian Kepli, S. Siva Chandhran, Kemarol Baharin, Mohd Sukree Othman, Mohamad Azman
72 ‚€“ Md. Rashid Ismail, Jeremiah Kim, Chan Soo Keong
73 ‚€“ P. Gunasagaran, Nicholas Pua
About Sapura Group
Sapura Group, a 100% Malaysian-owned technology-based organisation has taken the lead in the acquisition and development of strategic technologies for more than three decades. Established in 1975, from humble beginnings as a telecommunications infrastructure & service provider, the Group has expanded and diversified its businesses across four major areas:
- Oil & Gas
- Secured Technologies
- Industrial & Automotive Manufacturing
- Knowledge & Education
Sapura's persistent efforts in capability building of home-grown talents and aggressive investment in R&D have positioned the Group to be globally competitive, producing highly-specialised and multi-skilled pool of technology experts. Our globalisation efforts have taken us to countries such as Australia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Brazil, Japan, India, Indonesia and the Middle East.
The Group‚€™s listed entities are Sapura Industrial Berhad, Sapura Resources Berhad and the merged entity of SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN‚€™s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD17.8 billion as at 30 June 2012 and over 43,000 employees located in 18 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA of Malaysia (PGAM)
The PGA of Malaysia is the umbrella body for all professional golfers in Malaysia. As the governing body, the PGA of Malaysia is the sole sanctioning authority for professional tournaments in the country. It is also tasked with the promotion and development of the game of golf at all levels and provides training, education and professional development for its members.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world‚€™s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoam√©rica.
The PGA TOUR‚€™s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 715 million households in 225 countries and territories in 29 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2011, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $121 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR‚€™s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.7 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
SOURCE : CIMB GROUP
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Name : Yeow Pooi Ling
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Website : www.cimb.com